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My Aragones July 2022

Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
In 2018 I walked the Aragones from Lourdes in a tour group. In Jaca I fell and broke my leg. I wanted closure on the route and to see why I broke the leg. This diary describes my journey to Jaca and walking to Puenta la Reina.

Friday – 22 July
Travelled by train from Madrid to Zaragoza. Missed the connecting bus to Jaca but caught the next one three hours later. Somewhere along the way I lost my peak hat.
It is hot, 35-40 degrees. Left my jacket and beanie at hotel in Madrid. I may sleep there on my return or I may not. I may find my jacket or I may not. I do not believe I need it on this trip and my bag is full.
I am so impressed with everything Spanish. The railway and bus transport system is superb. People do things at speed, whether it is serving coffee or sweeping. Going out of the country is so essential to get a new perspective on things.
Have just arrived in Jaca. Have left my bag at the albergue. It is so nice to see the normal albergue activity of sleep, wash, eat and sleep. Looking forward to my first day on this interrupted Aragones Camino.
In Jaca first thing is a beer, then find a shop for the peak/hat, then provisions for early departure tomorrow, and then a meal.

Saturday - 23 July – Jaca to Sante Cilia – 15 km
Left Jaca at 8 for the 15 km walk to Sante Cilia. The route was initially gravel farm road which developed into hilly rocky road. It was hot, going up to 33 degrees. Somehow I got lost behind the Aragon hotel, and landed up walking about 5 km on the main road.
On arrival at the albergue, it was open but I found two pilgrims sitting at a bar drinking beers. I joined them. The barman kindly made us egg/tuna rolls. We made our way to the albergue where we washed (only cold water) and hit the beds.
We planned how to get to Juan de la Pena. The albergue did not have the communal dinner as expected and there are no shops in the town. We found a restaurant which made us a meal. Tomorrow the albergue will provide breakfast. Thank goodness for the restaurant. Food appears a problem on day. I drank 6 beers today. Very very hot and dry.

Sunday 24 July – Sante Cilia
From the albergue we took a taxi up to Juan de la Pena. The monastery is built against a mountain. It is old.
Returning to the albergue we ate, and then went to the community swimming pool. The evening was spent at the bar.

Monday 25 July - Sante Cilia to Arres - 11km
Walked from Sante Cilia to Arres, but again got lost. Ended up walking 20 km instead of 10. Thank goodness I was not walking with my backpack as Correos had taken it for me.
Walked up a hill to the albergue right at the top. The hospitalero took us on a tour of the hilltop settlement where everything is old. Saw an old private church, especially unlocked for us. Went to an exhibition on paintings of flowers of the area.
I am now sitting at a magician show. It is outdoors. It is still light. He is speaking all in Spanish which I do not understand. He is working magic with a pack of cards. I guess every person in this settlement has come to attend the show. But I think it is a public holiday as it is St James Day, and families are visiting. The magician has the people in the palm of his hand. Good repartee!
Such a lovely donativo albergue. Barbara had come from Italy to serve.Supper and breakfast were magnificent.

Tuesday 26 July - Arres to Artieda - 17 km
The Camino is about experiences. I have just arrived at the albergue at Artieda. The waitress is deaf and Spanish speaking. Thank goodness for Google Translate.
This camino is very very lonely. In Jaca it was just 6 persons, Sante Cilia 4, Arres 5. When you are walking in heat, with no shade or trees, the loneliness gets to one. Thank goodness I joined a Spanish chap, Victor, for most of today, and we both benefitted.
The reason and place I got lost yesterday was because I missed the sign as I came out of Puente la Reina de Jaca, apparently it is as you cross the Bridge. I walked 5km of the same road today as I did yesterday.
The scenery was most strange today. Huge sandstone, not rocks, but ...
The climb up to Artieda is steep!
At Artieda met Sara who was the only other guest/pilgrim at the hostel.

Wednesday 27 July - Artieda to Undues de Lerda - 22 kms
Left the private hostel of Artieda. There were only 2 pilgrims, myself and another lady. They had prepared a lovely breakfast with packages of food for me to take. Everything was done at night ready for my early morning departure.
Today was a long day. The way marking could be improved. In the 5kms before Ruesta my face and legs were badly scratched and cut by bushes growing over the path. I could not find the path out of Ruesta - eventually went into the hostel, found the guy who pointed out the route. I then started walking the longest hill I have ever met - 10 kms. Very scary when I was not really sure if I was on the correct route. Markers were very absent. Thank goodness for Correos who took my bag.
Eventually I reached Undues de Lerda. The albergue is huge with just 2 lady pilgrims. Had nice lunch/dinner at the bar in the town.
In the dormitory the balcony door is wide open at 21:45. The sun is setting. It is warm. The bunks here are made for children where grownups cannot sit up on the bottom bunk.
This is the strangest Camino. Two days now with no other person in the bar or walking who speaks English, and so few people. Sara not speaking with me.
Undues is a tiny town, on a hill top. Friendly bar man. The albergue is a huge old building which has been fitted out for many pilgrims. Tragic. Just Sara and myself. Was a warm evening, slept with the doors wide open with the most incredible view of the sunset, and in the morning of the sun rise. It was so warm I did not even use the sheet or sleeping bag.

Thursday 28 July - Undues de Lerda to Sanguesa - 10 km
I have forgotten. Must do the diary every evening!

Friday 29 July - Sanguesa to Lumbier - 10 km (landed up being 15 km)
Set off from Saguesa okay. Sara and I walked together and then Sara went ahead of me. I walked slowly but caught up with her because she had stopped. She realised that we were on the wrong track. We did not know what to do. Two local ladies came past and told us that we were on the wrong road. We had to turn around and do another extra 5 km. Sara went on ahead - she was going to Monreal and I was going to Lumbier.
I thought I got lost. I tried to follow the signs, some things I felt were wrong. Eventually I started using Google Map. Google Map told me that to get to Lumbier I had to travel along the highway. It was raining. I had on my black poncho, and me walking around the highway. The police stopped. They wanted to know where I was going and why I was walking on the highway. I tried to explain that's the only way that I knew to get to Lumbier. Well, they took a photograph of my passport, they made me install an app to alert the police of danger, and then tried themselves to find a way to get to Lumbier that wasn't on the highway. They could not. They gave me permission to go along the highway which is what I did for about 5-6 km. Along the way I stopped at a bar for a coffee and bocadilia.
When I came out I again tried to find the right way. I was told to follow the yellow arrows. I got lost again but the police found me - they had been looking for me - they put me on what they thought was the right road. Eventually I got onto the path going through the Foz de Lumbier - beautiful! I saw large birds soaring in the air. It was wonderful, but it was quite a traumatic day being lost. Very grateful for the help from the police and Guardia.

30 July - Lumbier to Monreal - 21 km
I set off from the hotel on the highway, but I must have missed the yellow arrow leading to the path. I walked and walked. At the round about I took the route I thought was correct only ... Then opened Google Map - thought I may as well do the 21 km on the highway. I walked and walked. I got to a town and walked into it thinking it was on the route. But I met a Camino Angel who walked with me about 5 km and put me on the correct path.
I walked through gates, saw cows and horses, and walked and walked. This Way is not as easy as the French or Primitivo. You have to be agile.
Eventually I reached Monreal, full albergue, people who took the main route and myself who took the variant.
Too late for lunch, but had supper in the bar. Met an interesting Hungarian pilgrim. Given up his job as an international banker in Budapest, wants to do something which satisfies his soul. The Afghan and other refugees trying to enter his country, and the borders closed, made him rethink. This is what the Camino is about - meeting people you would never meet in your normal life. I spoke about how I want to continue working to contribute to uplifting.

31 July - Monreal to Tibeas - 10 km (km in Spain is much longer than km in SA)
Had lovely egg and bacon bocadilia for breakfast in bar in Monreal and left the small town at about 8.15. Walked up and down on stony roads and then stony paths. Very difficult terrain. In sun and then shade. Looked at farmers bailing their straw into bales, note on a Sunday! The farmers here WORK. Beautiful fields. At about lunch time ate a bocadilia I was carrying. Today I drank water. I took 500 mls, finished it, drank at a fountain, filled bottle and finished it. At the albergue I drank a coke, and after showering got a beer and potato and tuna salad from the vending machine.
As I walked I talked to ... and thanked Him that my friend is in remission from cancer.
I had no energy today and in hindsight think it is probably because yesterday had no lunch (when I arrived the bar was closed for siesta) and my supper of salad was either too late or missing in starch.
I arrived at 2 in the tiny town of Tibeas, lovely modern albergue. Showered, ate and slept. Tonight only 5 pilgrims. This evening two are sleeping, two have gone to the swimming pool, and I have selected the bar. I have ordered a hamburger as I want protein and starch. The bar is huge but only has about 10 persons (I know 7pm is very early in Spain) who are playing cards.

1 August - Tibeas to Puente la Reina - 17 km
Today's walk was so much better than yesterday's - better food, rucksack taken by Correos and a much easier terrain. Not so much up and down hill with rocks. Breakfast was lovely, even with a note 'Goeie more'. Embarrassment - I did not know how to use a pod in the coffee machine. Wheat fields changed to sunflowers, vines and asparagus. Maybe more shade cover.
Obanos was a total shock to the system. Many young pilgrims going at speed, to reach Puente la Reina or further on. Reaching an alberque in Puente I met noisy pilgrims. Not possible to have an afternoon sleep in the dorm. The noise was a shock to the system.
Tried to get lunch in the 'main' road, only to realise it was the route for all bikers and pilgrims going on their journey. Walked out of one place. Wandered down another, and found a restaurant frequented by locals. I selected the cheapest set menu.
Lunch was roasted pimentos with paprika, and bread; followed by a salad; followed by a plate with dried meat (pigs fed on acorns - huge delicacy) and tiny starch chips; followed by butter bean soup; followed by a huge entrecot and chips; followed by nutmeg ice cream and coffee. Lunch plus a beer, 22 euros.
That evening at the albergue was a time of flies, flying things that bit, and noise. Discussed doing the Bustan or Vadinian routes. Has long chat with retired Spanish social worker about all the refugees coming into Spain from Mali and Senegal. Did not sleep well.

My Aragonese Camino started in 2018 is now completed.
The first part was from Lourdes in France, over the mountains at Somport, in Spain, and I stopped at Jaca when I broke my leg - this was done as part of a tour group. The part just completed was from Jaca to Puente la Reina, solo, following the route found at gronze.com/camino-aragones I did not always walk the indicated distances. This camino is very very different to the popular French Camino and has no similarity to the 2010 movie The Way.

2 August - Puente la Reina to Pamplona
In Puente la Reina walked down to the bus stop and at the scheduled time of 11.27 the bus arrived. The Spanish transport system of buses and trains is superb. Went to Pamplona. Had a coffee and sandwich and then booked into a hotel. It had been a choice between a hotel or an albergue, but I wanted to be alone and get up after 6. So nice to have one own's space. Calm city, not as frenetic as Madrid but maybe it is just where I am having lunch on the plaza.

3 August – Pamplona to Madrid
Took taxi from hotel to Pamplona train station, and caught the train to Madrid. Took taxi to the prebooked hotel, the same one I had used three weeks earlier. Now three weeks ago I left Cape Town in 12 degrees wearing a jacket and beanie, and the plane was very cold and I wore them on the plane. I arrived to 35 degrees in Madrid. I did not plan carrying my jacket and hat across Spain in the heat wave, so I dumped them at the hotel. I did not know what my plans were except that I was flying out of Madrid. Yesterday I decided to spent my preflight night in Madrid, and booked the same hotel. I thought a jacket and beanie would be needed on the plane, and considered replacing those items here, if necessary. I enquired at reception if by chance they had found the clothes and still had them. Hotel Lauria is to be commended. I have those clothes!
Madrid is hot and frenetic. The streets are full of people - it is difficult to believe. My room is over the Via Grande, the door is open and at 23h00 the street is still busy.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Docpam,
I enjoyed reading this account of your last weeks walking on the Argones camino. Some of those days most have been truly exhausting due to the extreme heat. Thanks for sharing your memories here on the forum.
Stay safe and Carpe diem.
 

Grahammac

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Arles/Arogonese (2019)
In 2018 I walked the Aragones from Lourdes in a tour group. In Jaca I fell and broke my leg. I wanted closure on the route and to see why I broke the leg. This diary describes my journey to Jaca and walking to Puenta la Reina.

Friday – 22 July
Travelled by train from Madrid to Zaragoza. Missed the connecting bus to Jaca but caught the next one three hours later. Somewhere along the way I lost my peak hat.
It is hot, 35-40 degrees. Left my jacket and beanie at hotel in Madrid. I may sleep there on my return or I may not. I may find my jacket or I may not. I do not believe I need it on this trip and my bag is full.
I am so impressed with everything Spanish. The railway and bus transport system is superb. People do things at speed, whether it is serving coffee or sweeping. Going out of the country is so essential to get a new perspective on things.
Have just arrived in Jaca. Have left my bag at the albergue. It is so nice to see the normal albergue activity of sleep, wash, eat and sleep. Looking forward to my first day on this interrupted Aragones Camino.
In Jaca first thing is a beer, then find a shop for the peak/hat, then provisions for early departure tomorrow, and then a meal.

Saturday - 23 July – Jaca to Sante Cilia – 15 km
Left Jaca at 8 for the 15 km walk to Sante Cilia. The route was initially gravel farm road which developed into hilly rocky road. It was hot, going up to 33 degrees. Somehow I got lost behind the Aragon hotel, and landed up walking about 5 km on the main road.
On arrival at the albergue, it was open but I found two pilgrims sitting at a bar drinking beers. I joined them. The barman kindly made us egg/tuna rolls. We made our way to the albergue where we washed (only cold water) and hit the beds.
We planned how to get to Juan de la Pena. The albergue did not have the communal dinner as expected and there are no shops in the town. We found a restaurant which made us a meal. Tomorrow the albergue will provide breakfast. Thank goodness for the restaurant. Food appears a problem on day. I drank 6 beers today. Very very hot and dry.

Sunday 24 July – Sante Cilia
From the albergue we took a taxi up to Juan de la Pena. The monastery is built against a mountain. It is old.
Returning to the albergue we ate, and then went to the community swimming pool. The evening was spent at the bar.

Monday 25 July - Sante Cilia to Arres - 11km
Walked from Sante Cilia to Arres, but again got lost. Ended up walking 20 km instead of 10. Thank goodness I was not walking with my backpack as Correos had taken it for me.
Walked up a hill to the albergue right at the top. The hospitalero took us on a tour of the hilltop settlement where everything is old. Saw an old private church, especially unlocked for us. Went to an exhibition on paintings of flowers of the area.
I am now sitting at a magician show. It is outdoors. It is still light. He is speaking all in Spanish which I do not understand. He is working magic with a pack of cards. I guess every person in this settlement has come to attend the show. But I think it is a public holiday as it is St James Day, and families are visiting. The magician has the people in the palm of his hand. Good repartee!
Such a lovely donativo albergue. Barbara had come from Italy to serve.Supper and breakfast were magnificent.

Tuesday 26 July - Arres to Artieda - 17 km
The Camino is about experiences. I have just arrived at the albergue at Artieda. The waitress is deaf and Spanish speaking. Thank goodness for Google Translate.
This camino is very very lonely. In Jaca it was just 6 persons, Sante Cilia 4, Arres 5. When you are walking in heat, with no shade or trees, the loneliness gets to one. Thank goodness I joined a Spanish chap, Victor, for most of today, and we both benefitted.
The reason and place I got lost yesterday was because I missed the sign as I came out of Puente la Reina de Jaca, apparently it is as you cross the Bridge. I walked 5km of the same road today as I did yesterday.
The scenery was most strange today. Huge sandstone, not rocks, but ...
The climb up to Artieda is steep!
At Artieda met Sara who was the only other guest/pilgrim at the hostel.

Wednesday 27 July - Artieda to Undues de Lerda - 22 kms
Left the private hostel of Artieda. There were only 2 pilgrims, myself and another lady. They had prepared a lovely breakfast with packages of food for me to take. Everything was done at night ready for my early morning departure.
Today was a long day. The way marking could be improved. In the 5kms before Ruesta my face and legs were badly scratched and cut by bushes growing over the path. I could not find the path out of Ruesta - eventually went into the hostel, found the guy who pointed out the route. I then started walking the longest hill I have ever met - 10 kms. Very scary when I was not really sure if I was on the correct route. Markers were very absent. Thank goodness for Correos who took my bag.
Eventually I reached Undues de Lerda. The albergue is huge with just 2 lady pilgrims. Had nice lunch/dinner at the bar in the town.
In the dormitory the balcony door is wide open at 21:45. The sun is setting. It is warm. The bunks here are made for children where grownups cannot sit up on the bottom bunk.
This is the strangest Camino. Two days now with no other person in the bar or walking who speaks English, and so few people. Sara not speaking with me.
Undues is a tiny town, on a hill top. Friendly bar man. The albergue is a huge old building which has been fitted out for many pilgrims. Tragic. Just Sara and myself. Was a warm evening, slept with the doors wide open with the most incredible view of the sunset, and in the morning of the sun rise. It was so warm I did not even use the sheet or sleeping bag.

Thursday 28 July - Undues de Lerda to Sanguesa - 10 km
I have forgotten. Must do the diary every evening!

Friday 29 July - Sanguesa to Lumbier - 10 km (landed up being 15 km)
Set off from Saguesa okay. Sara and I walked together and then Sara went ahead of me. I walked slowly but caught up with her because she had stopped. She realised that we were on the wrong track. We did not know what to do. Two local ladies came past and told us that we were on the wrong road. We had to turn around and do another extra 5 km. Sara went on ahead - she was going to Monreal and I was going to Lumbier.
I thought I got lost. I tried to follow the signs, some things I felt were wrong. Eventually I started using Google Map. Google Map told me that to get to Lumbier I had to travel along the highway. It was raining. I had on my black poncho, and me walking around the highway. The police stopped. They wanted to know where I was going and why I was walking on the highway. I tried to explain that's the only way that I knew to get to Lumbier. Well, they took a photograph of my passport, they made me install an app to alert the police of danger, and then tried themselves to find a way to get to Lumbier that wasn't on the highway. They could not. They gave me permission to go along the highway which is what I did for about 5-6 km. Along the way I stopped at a bar for a coffee and bocadilia.
When I came out I again tried to find the right way. I was told to follow the yellow arrows. I got lost again but the police found me - they had been looking for me - they put me on what they thought was the right road. Eventually I got onto the path going through the Foz de Lumbier - beautiful! I saw large birds soaring in the air. It was wonderful, but it was quite a traumatic day being lost. Very grateful for the help from the police and Guardia.

30 July - Lumbier to Monreal - 21 km
I set off from the hotel on the highway, but I must have missed the yellow arrow leading to the path. I walked and walked. At the round about I took the route I thought was correct only ... Then opened Google Map - thought I may as well do the 21 km on the highway. I walked and walked. I got to a town and walked into it thinking it was on the route. But I met a Camino Angel who walked with me about 5 km and put me on the correct path.
I walked through gates, saw cows and horses, and walked and walked. This Way is not as easy as the French or Primitivo. You have to be agile.
Eventually I reached Monreal, full albergue, people who took the main route and myself who took the variant.
Too late for lunch, but had supper in the bar. Met an interesting Hungarian pilgrim. Given up his job as an international banker in Budapest, wants to do something which satisfies his soul. The Afghan and other refugees trying to enter his country, and the borders closed, made him rethink. This is what the Camino is about - meeting people you would never meet in your normal life. I spoke about how I want to continue working to contribute to uplifting.

31 July - Monreal to Tibeas - 10 km (km in Spain is much longer than km in SA)
Had lovely egg and bacon bocadilia for breakfast in bar in Monreal and left the small town at about 8.15. Walked up and down on stony roads and then stony paths. Very difficult terrain. In sun and then shade. Looked at farmers bailing their straw into bales, note on a Sunday! The farmers here WORK. Beautiful fields. At about lunch time ate a bocadilia I was carrying. Today I drank water. I took 500 mls, finished it, drank at a fountain, filled bottle and finished it. At the albergue I drank a coke, and after showering got a beer and potato and tuna salad from the vending machine.
As I walked I talked to ... and thanked Him that my friend is in remission from cancer.
I had no energy today and in hindsight think it is probably because yesterday had no lunch (when I arrived the bar was closed for siesta) and my supper of salad was either too late or missing in starch.
I arrived at 2 in the tiny town of Tibeas, lovely modern albergue. Showered, ate and slept. Tonight only 5 pilgrims. This evening two are sleeping, two have gone to the swimming pool, and I have selected the bar. I have ordered a hamburger as I want protein and starch. The bar is huge but only has about 10 persons (I know 7pm is very early in Spain) who are playing cards.

1 August - Tibeas to Puente la Reina - 17 km
Today's walk was so much better than yesterday's - better food, rucksack taken by Correos and a much easier terrain. Not so much up and down hill with rocks. Breakfast was lovely, even with a note 'Goeie more'. Embarrassment - I did not know how to use a pod in the coffee machine. Wheat fields changed to sunflowers, vines and asparagus. Maybe more shade cover.
Obanos was a total shock to the system. Many young pilgrims going at speed, to reach Puente la Reina or further on. Reaching an alberque in Puente I met noisy pilgrims. Not possible to have an afternoon sleep in the dorm. The noise was a shock to the system.
Tried to get lunch in the 'main' road, only to realise it was the route for all bikers and pilgrims going on their journey. Walked out of one place. Wandered down another, and found a restaurant frequented by locals. I selected the cheapest set menu.
Lunch was roasted pimentos with paprika, and bread; followed by a salad; followed by a plate with dried meat (pigs fed on acorns - huge delicacy) and tiny starch chips; followed by butter bean soup; followed by a huge entrecot and chips; followed by nutmeg ice cream and coffee. Lunch plus a beer, 22 euros.
That evening at the albergue was a time of flies, flying things that bit, and noise. Discussed doing the Bustan or Vadinian routes. Has long chat with retired Spanish social worker about all the refugees coming into Spain from Mali and Senegal. Did not sleep well.

My Aragonese Camino started in 2018 is now completed.
The first part was from Lourdes in France, over the mountains at Somport, in Spain, and I stopped at Jaca when I broke my leg - this was done as part of a tour group. The part just completed was from Jaca to Puente la Reina, solo, following the route found at gronze.com/camino-aragones I did not always walk the indicated distances. This camino is very very different to the popular French Camino and has no similarity to the 2010 movie The Way.

2 August - Puente la Reina to Pamplona
In Puente la Reina walked down to the bus stop and at the scheduled time of 11.27 the bus arrived. The Spanish transport system of buses and trains is superb. Went to Pamplona. Had a coffee and sandwich and then booked into a hotel. It had been a choice between a hotel or an albergue, but I wanted to be alone and get up after 6. So nice to have one own's space. Calm city, not as frenetic as Madrid but maybe it is just where I am having lunch on the plaza.

3 August – Pamplona to Madrid
Took taxi from hotel to Pamplona train station, and caught the train to Madrid. Took taxi to the prebooked hotel, the same one I had used three weeks earlier. Now three weeks ago I left Cape Town in 12 degrees wearing a jacket and beanie, and the plane was very cold and I wore them on the plane. I arrived to 35 degrees in Madrid. I did not plan carrying my jacket and hat across Spain in the heat wave, so I dumped them at the hotel. I did not know what my plans were except that I was flying out of Madrid. Yesterday I decided to spent my preflight night in Madrid, and booked the same hotel. I thought a jacket and beanie would be needed on the plane, and considered replacing those items here, if necessary. I enquired at reception if by chance they had found the clothes and still had them. Hotel Lauria is to be commended. I have those clothes!
Madrid is hot and frenetic. The streets are full of people - it is difficult to believe. My room is over the Via Grande, the door is open and at 23h00 the street is still busy.
Hi. Really interesting trip! I walked it in 2019, starting at my home in France, and done over 250kms by the time I arrived in Jaca. Luckily, I only strayed a little. From Ruesta and Undues to Sanguesa was a struggle, and then walking the section to Monreal in the rain, because most is clay, must have been a real mental challenge. It was dry for me. I went from Monreal to Obanos in 1 day - a mistake, considering I was 71 at the time.

It is a very lonely route and I walked all of it alone. Max 3 pilgrims any night.

I continued to Compostela, and the 9n to Finisterra and Muxia. I came home a very changed person
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
In 2018 I walked the Aragones from Lourdes in a tour group. In Jaca I fell and broke my leg. I wanted closure on the route and to see why I broke the leg. This diary describes my journey to Jaca and walking to Puenta la Reina.

Friday – 22 July
Travelled by train from Madrid to Zaragoza. Missed the connecting bus to Jaca but caught the next one three hours later. Somewhere along the way I lost my peak hat.
It is hot, 35-40 degrees. Left my jacket and beanie at hotel in Madrid. I may sleep there on my return or I may not. I may find my jacket or I may not. I do not believe I need it on this trip and my bag is full.
I am so impressed with everything Spanish. The railway and bus transport system is superb. People do things at speed, whether it is serving coffee or sweeping. Going out of the country is so essential to get a new perspective on things.
Have just arrived in Jaca. Have left my bag at the albergue. It is so nice to see the normal albergue activity of sleep, wash, eat and sleep. Looking forward to my first day on this interrupted Aragones Camino.
In Jaca first thing is a beer, then find a shop for the peak/hat, then provisions for early departure tomorrow, and then a meal.

Saturday - 23 July – Jaca to Sante Cilia – 15 km
Left Jaca at 8 for the 15 km walk to Sante Cilia. The route was initially gravel farm road which developed into hilly rocky road. It was hot, going up to 33 degrees. Somehow I got lost behind the Aragon hotel, and landed up walking about 5 km on the main road.
On arrival at the albergue, it was open but I found two pilgrims sitting at a bar drinking beers. I joined them. The barman kindly made us egg/tuna rolls. We made our way to the albergue where we washed (only cold water) and hit the beds.
We planned how to get to Juan de la Pena. The albergue did not have the communal dinner as expected and there are no shops in the town. We found a restaurant which made us a meal. Tomorrow the albergue will provide breakfast. Thank goodness for the restaurant. Food appears a problem on day. I drank 6 beers today. Very very hot and dry.

Sunday 24 July – Sante Cilia
From the albergue we took a taxi up to Juan de la Pena. The monastery is built against a mountain. It is old.
Returning to the albergue we ate, and then went to the community swimming pool. The evening was spent at the bar.

Monday 25 July - Sante Cilia to Arres - 11km
Walked from Sante Cilia to Arres, but again got lost. Ended up walking 20 km instead of 10. Thank goodness I was not walking with my backpack as Correos had taken it for me.
Walked up a hill to the albergue right at the top. The hospitalero took us on a tour of the hilltop settlement where everything is old. Saw an old private church, especially unlocked for us. Went to an exhibition on paintings of flowers of the area.
I am now sitting at a magician show. It is outdoors. It is still light. He is speaking all in Spanish which I do not understand. He is working magic with a pack of cards. I guess every person in this settlement has come to attend the show. But I think it is a public holiday as it is St James Day, and families are visiting. The magician has the people in the palm of his hand. Good repartee!
Such a lovely donativo albergue. Barbara had come from Italy to serve.Supper and breakfast were magnificent.

Tuesday 26 July - Arres to Artieda - 17 km
The Camino is about experiences. I have just arrived at the albergue at Artieda. The waitress is deaf and Spanish speaking. Thank goodness for Google Translate.
This camino is very very lonely. In Jaca it was just 6 persons, Sante Cilia 4, Arres 5. When you are walking in heat, with no shade or trees, the loneliness gets to one. Thank goodness I joined a Spanish chap, Victor, for most of today, and we both benefitted.
The reason and place I got lost yesterday was because I missed the sign as I came out of Puente la Reina de Jaca, apparently it is as you cross the Bridge. I walked 5km of the same road today as I did yesterday.
The scenery was most strange today. Huge sandstone, not rocks, but ...
The climb up to Artieda is steep!
At Artieda met Sara who was the only other guest/pilgrim at the hostel.

Wednesday 27 July - Artieda to Undues de Lerda - 22 kms
Left the private hostel of Artieda. There were only 2 pilgrims, myself and another lady. They had prepared a lovely breakfast with packages of food for me to take. Everything was done at night ready for my early morning departure.
Today was a long day. The way marking could be improved. In the 5kms before Ruesta my face and legs were badly scratched and cut by bushes growing over the path. I could not find the path out of Ruesta - eventually went into the hostel, found the guy who pointed out the route. I then started walking the longest hill I have ever met - 10 kms. Very scary when I was not really sure if I was on the correct route. Markers were very absent. Thank goodness for Correos who took my bag.
Eventually I reached Undues de Lerda. The albergue is huge with just 2 lady pilgrims. Had nice lunch/dinner at the bar in the town.
In the dormitory the balcony door is wide open at 21:45. The sun is setting. It is warm. The bunks here are made for children where grownups cannot sit up on the bottom bunk.
This is the strangest Camino. Two days now with no other person in the bar or walking who speaks English, and so few people. Sara not speaking with me.
Undues is a tiny town, on a hill top. Friendly bar man. The albergue is a huge old building which has been fitted out for many pilgrims. Tragic. Just Sara and myself. Was a warm evening, slept with the doors wide open with the most incredible view of the sunset, and in the morning of the sun rise. It was so warm I did not even use the sheet or sleeping bag.

Thursday 28 July - Undues de Lerda to Sanguesa - 10 km
I have forgotten. Must do the diary every evening!

Friday 29 July - Sanguesa to Lumbier - 10 km (landed up being 15 km)
Set off from Saguesa okay. Sara and I walked together and then Sara went ahead of me. I walked slowly but caught up with her because she had stopped. She realised that we were on the wrong track. We did not know what to do. Two local ladies came past and told us that we were on the wrong road. We had to turn around and do another extra 5 km. Sara went on ahead - she was going to Monreal and I was going to Lumbier.
I thought I got lost. I tried to follow the signs, some things I felt were wrong. Eventually I started using Google Map. Google Map told me that to get to Lumbier I had to travel along the highway. It was raining. I had on my black poncho, and me walking around the highway. The police stopped. They wanted to know where I was going and why I was walking on the highway. I tried to explain that's the only way that I knew to get to Lumbier. Well, they took a photograph of my passport, they made me install an app to alert the police of danger, and then tried themselves to find a way to get to Lumbier that wasn't on the highway. They could not. They gave me permission to go along the highway which is what I did for about 5-6 km. Along the way I stopped at a bar for a coffee and bocadilia.
When I came out I again tried to find the right way. I was told to follow the yellow arrows. I got lost again but the police found me - they had been looking for me - they put me on what they thought was the right road. Eventually I got onto the path going through the Foz de Lumbier - beautiful! I saw large birds soaring in the air. It was wonderful, but it was quite a traumatic day being lost. Very grateful for the help from the police and Guardia.

30 July - Lumbier to Monreal - 21 km
I set off from the hotel on the highway, but I must have missed the yellow arrow leading to the path. I walked and walked. At the round about I took the route I thought was correct only ... Then opened Google Map - thought I may as well do the 21 km on the highway. I walked and walked. I got to a town and walked into it thinking it was on the route. But I met a Camino Angel who walked with me about 5 km and put me on the correct path.
I walked through gates, saw cows and horses, and walked and walked. This Way is not as easy as the French or Primitivo. You have to be agile.
Eventually I reached Monreal, full albergue, people who took the main route and myself who took the variant.
Too late for lunch, but had supper in the bar. Met an interesting Hungarian pilgrim. Given up his job as an international banker in Budapest, wants to do something which satisfies his soul. The Afghan and other refugees trying to enter his country, and the borders closed, made him rethink. This is what the Camino is about - meeting people you would never meet in your normal life. I spoke about how I want to continue working to contribute to uplifting.

31 July - Monreal to Tibeas - 10 km (km in Spain is much longer than km in SA)
Had lovely egg and bacon bocadilia for breakfast in bar in Monreal and left the small town at about 8.15. Walked up and down on stony roads and then stony paths. Very difficult terrain. In sun and then shade. Looked at farmers bailing their straw into bales, note on a Sunday! The farmers here WORK. Beautiful fields. At about lunch time ate a bocadilia I was carrying. Today I drank water. I took 500 mls, finished it, drank at a fountain, filled bottle and finished it. At the albergue I drank a coke, and after showering got a beer and potato and tuna salad from the vending machine.
As I walked I talked to ... and thanked Him that my friend is in remission from cancer.
I had no energy today and in hindsight think it is probably because yesterday had no lunch (when I arrived the bar was closed for siesta) and my supper of salad was either too late or missing in starch.
I arrived at 2 in the tiny town of Tibeas, lovely modern albergue. Showered, ate and slept. Tonight only 5 pilgrims. This evening two are sleeping, two have gone to the swimming pool, and I have selected the bar. I have ordered a hamburger as I want protein and starch. The bar is huge but only has about 10 persons (I know 7pm is very early in Spain) who are playing cards.

1 August - Tibeas to Puente la Reina - 17 km
Today's walk was so much better than yesterday's - better food, rucksack taken by Correos and a much easier terrain. Not so much up and down hill with rocks. Breakfast was lovely, even with a note 'Goeie more'. Embarrassment - I did not know how to use a pod in the coffee machine. Wheat fields changed to sunflowers, vines and asparagus. Maybe more shade cover.
Obanos was a total shock to the system. Many young pilgrims going at speed, to reach Puente la Reina or further on. Reaching an alberque in Puente I met noisy pilgrims. Not possible to have an afternoon sleep in the dorm. The noise was a shock to the system.
Tried to get lunch in the 'main' road, only to realise it was the route for all bikers and pilgrims going on their journey. Walked out of one place. Wandered down another, and found a restaurant frequented by locals. I selected the cheapest set menu.
Lunch was roasted pimentos with paprika, and bread; followed by a salad; followed by a plate with dried meat (pigs fed on acorns - huge delicacy) and tiny starch chips; followed by butter bean soup; followed by a huge entrecot and chips; followed by nutmeg ice cream and coffee. Lunch plus a beer, 22 euros.
That evening at the albergue was a time of flies, flying things that bit, and noise. Discussed doing the Bustan or Vadinian routes. Has long chat with retired Spanish social worker about all the refugees coming into Spain from Mali and Senegal. Did not sleep well.

My Aragonese Camino started in 2018 is now completed.
The first part was from Lourdes in France, over the mountains at Somport, in Spain, and I stopped at Jaca when I broke my leg - this was done as part of a tour group. The part just completed was from Jaca to Puente la Reina, solo, following the route found at gronze.com/camino-aragones I did not always walk the indicated distances. This camino is very very different to the popular French Camino and has no similarity to the 2010 movie The Way.

2 August - Puente la Reina to Pamplona
In Puente la Reina walked down to the bus stop and at the scheduled time of 11.27 the bus arrived. The Spanish transport system of buses and trains is superb. Went to Pamplona. Had a coffee and sandwich and then booked into a hotel. It had been a choice between a hotel or an albergue, but I wanted to be alone and get up after 6. So nice to have one own's space. Calm city, not as frenetic as Madrid but maybe it is just where I am having lunch on the plaza.

3 August – Pamplona to Madrid
Took taxi from hotel to Pamplona train station, and caught the train to Madrid. Took taxi to the prebooked hotel, the same one I had used three weeks earlier. Now three weeks ago I left Cape Town in 12 degrees wearing a jacket and beanie, and the plane was very cold and I wore them on the plane. I arrived to 35 degrees in Madrid. I did not plan carrying my jacket and hat across Spain in the heat wave, so I dumped them at the hotel. I did not know what my plans were except that I was flying out of Madrid. Yesterday I decided to spent my preflight night in Madrid, and booked the same hotel. I thought a jacket and beanie would be needed on the plane, and considered replacing those items here, if necessary. I enquired at reception if by chance they had found the clothes and still had them. Hotel Lauria is to be commended. I have those clothes!
Madrid is hot and frenetic. The streets are full of people - it is difficult to believe. My room is over the Via Grande, the door is open and at 23h00 the street is still busy.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
I will be walking in starting October 21 from Somport. I never walk in the summer for the very reasons you illustrated. Being retired I do have that luxury. I do not mind caminos that have very few pilgrims. Just walked the VDLP from Mid October to the beginning of December 2021.
I have a question and a few comments. It is a good thing that the police had you download alertcops. Downloading that app is the first thing I do when I get to Spain especially knowing the type of camino I will be walking. Do you know about Wise Pilgrim or Buen Camino? They are free apps that have downloadable GPS that can be invaluable in desolate caminos especially in hot weather.
I will go to the Monastery between Jaca and Santa Cilia. I was wondering why you walked to Santa Cilia first instead of going from Jaca. I have read there is a bus from Jaca that will take you there. I was thinking of going up early and then walking down to Sata CIlia in the afternoon. Gronze shows it as about 11.5k. I do not know how difficult that downhill is so when I get to Canfranc or to Jaca I will get better information. Did you enjoy the Monastery? It looks pretty special from the photos.
FInally why do you think you got lost so much. I have read many other accounts of people doing the Aragones and have always had the impression it was pretty well marked and did not hear about people having problems finding and staying on the camino. Am I mistaken?
 

Grahammac

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Arles/Arogonese (2019)
Thanks for sharing your experience.
I will be walking in starting October 21 from Somport. I never walk in the summer for the very reasons you illustrated. Being retired I do have that luxury. I do not mind caminos that have very few pilgrims. Just walked the VDLP from Mid October to the beginning of December 2021.
I have a question and a few comments. It is a good thing that the police had you download alertcops. Downloading that app is the first thing I do when I get to Spain especially knowing the type of camino I will be walking. Do you know about Wise Pilgrim or Buen Camino? They are free apps that have downloadable GPS that can be invaluable in desolate caminos especially in hot weather.
I will go to the Monastery between Jaca and Santa Cilia. I was wondering why you walked to Santa Cilia first instead of going from Jaca. I have read there is a bus from Jaca that will take you there. I was thinking of going up early and then walking down to Sata CIlia in the afternoon. Gronze shows it as about 11.5k. I do not know how difficult that downhill is so when I get to Canfranc or to Jaca I will get better information. Did you enjoy the Monastery? It looks pretty special from the photos.
FInally why do you think you got lost so much. I have read many other accounts of people doing the Aragones and have always had the impression it was pretty well marked and did not hear about people having problems finding and staying on the camino. Am I mistaken?
P.S. I am also from SA. I only met 1 other person from SA during my walk. Primitivo next year.
Best wishes.
 
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winemakerfw51

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues (Sept-Oct 2018)
Thanks for telling your story. I'm soaking up any info I can get on the route. Have been using Gronze, but here isn't much out there. I am planning to walk the Aragones alone next spring using the same itinerary as you did. The official stage between Sanguesa and Monreal concerns me. There's an 18 kilometer stretch where there are no services. I'll be 76 and would not want to have a problem walking alone. So I'll be going though Lumbier.
 

winemakerfw51

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues (Sept-Oct 2018)
will go to the Monastery between Jaca and Santa Cilia. I was wondering why you walked to Santa Cilia first instead of going from Jaca. I have read there is a bus from Jaca that will take you there. I was thinking of going up early and then walking down to Sata CIlia in the afternoon. Gronze shows it as about 11.5k. I do not know how difficult that downhill is so when I get to Canfranc or to Jaca I will get better information. Did you enjoy the Monastery? It looks pretty special from the photos.
I'm not sure the bus from Jaca to the monastery is running anymore. I've been trying to find info too. For a good description of the walk up the hill to the monastery see the video on Youtube on the Nadine Walks channel. It looks pretty difficult. Coming downhill from the monastery I've read that there's also a steep and difficult section. Good luck and Buen Camino
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
In 2018 I walked the Aragones from Lourdes in a tour group. In Jaca I fell and broke my leg. I wanted closure on the route and to see why I broke the leg. This diary describes my journey to Jaca and walking to Puenta la Reina.

Friday – 22 July
Travelled by train from Madrid to Zaragoza. Missed the connecting bus to Jaca but caught the next one three hours later. Somewhere along the way I lost my peak hat.
It is hot, 35-40 degrees. Left my jacket and beanie at hotel in Madrid. I may sleep there on my return or I may not. I may find my jacket or I may not. I do not believe I need it on this trip and my bag is full.
I am so impressed with everything Spanish. The railway and bus transport system is superb. People do things at speed, whether it is serving coffee or sweeping. Going out of the country is so essential to get a new perspective on things.
Have just arrived in Jaca. Have left my bag at the albergue. It is so nice to see the normal albergue activity of sleep, wash, eat and sleep. Looking forward to my first day on this interrupted Aragones Camino.
In Jaca first thing is a beer, then find a shop for the peak/hat, then provisions for early departure tomorrow, and then a meal.

Saturday - 23 July – Jaca to Sante Cilia – 15 km
Left Jaca at 8 for the 15 km walk to Sante Cilia. The route was initially gravel farm road which developed into hilly rocky road. It was hot, going up to 33 degrees. Somehow I got lost behind the Aragon hotel, and landed up walking about 5 km on the main road.
On arrival at the albergue, it was open but I found two pilgrims sitting at a bar drinking beers. I joined them. The barman kindly made us egg/tuna rolls. We made our way to the albergue where we washed (only cold water) and hit the beds.
We planned how to get to Juan de la Pena. The albergue did not have the communal dinner as expected and there are no shops in the town. We found a restaurant which made us a meal. Tomorrow the albergue will provide breakfast. Thank goodness for the restaurant. Food appears a problem on day. I drank 6 beers today. Very very hot and dry.

Sunday 24 July – Sante Cilia
From the albergue we took a taxi up to Juan de la Pena. The monastery is built against a mountain. It is old.
Returning to the albergue we ate, and then went to the community swimming pool. The evening was spent at the bar.

Monday 25 July - Sante Cilia to Arres - 11km
Walked from Sante Cilia to Arres, but again got lost. Ended up walking 20 km instead of 10. Thank goodness I was not walking with my backpack as Correos had taken it for me.
Walked up a hill to the albergue right at the top. The hospitalero took us on a tour of the hilltop settlement where everything is old. Saw an old private church, especially unlocked for us. Went to an exhibition on paintings of flowers of the area.
I am now sitting at a magician show. It is outdoors. It is still light. He is speaking all in Spanish which I do not understand. He is working magic with a pack of cards. I guess every person in this settlement has come to attend the show. But I think it is a public holiday as it is St James Day, and families are visiting. The magician has the people in the palm of his hand. Good repartee!
Such a lovely donativo albergue. Barbara had come from Italy to serve.Supper and breakfast were magnificent.

Tuesday 26 July - Arres to Artieda - 17 km
The Camino is about experiences. I have just arrived at the albergue at Artieda. The waitress is deaf and Spanish speaking. Thank goodness for Google Translate.
This camino is very very lonely. In Jaca it was just 6 persons, Sante Cilia 4, Arres 5. When you are walking in heat, with no shade or trees, the loneliness gets to one. Thank goodness I joined a Spanish chap, Victor, for most of today, and we both benefitted.
The reason and place I got lost yesterday was because I missed the sign as I came out of Puente la Reina de Jaca, apparently it is as you cross the Bridge. I walked 5km of the same road today as I did yesterday.
The scenery was most strange today. Huge sandstone, not rocks, but ...
The climb up to Artieda is steep!
At Artieda met Sara who was the only other guest/pilgrim at the hostel.

Wednesday 27 July - Artieda to Undues de Lerda - 22 kms
Left the private hostel of Artieda. There were only 2 pilgrims, myself and another lady. They had prepared a lovely breakfast with packages of food for me to take. Everything was done at night ready for my early morning departure.
Today was a long day. The way marking could be improved. In the 5kms before Ruesta my face and legs were badly scratched and cut by bushes growing over the path. I could not find the path out of Ruesta - eventually went into the hostel, found the guy who pointed out the route. I then started walking the longest hill I have ever met - 10 kms. Very scary when I was not really sure if I was on the correct route. Markers were very absent. Thank goodness for Correos who took my bag.
Eventually I reached Undues de Lerda. The albergue is huge with just 2 lady pilgrims. Had nice lunch/dinner at the bar in the town.
In the dormitory the balcony door is wide open at 21:45. The sun is setting. It is warm. The bunks here are made for children where grownups cannot sit up on the bottom bunk.
This is the strangest Camino. Two days now with no other person in the bar or walking who speaks English, and so few people. Sara not speaking with me.
Undues is a tiny town, on a hill top. Friendly bar man. The albergue is a huge old building which has been fitted out for many pilgrims. Tragic. Just Sara and myself. Was a warm evening, slept with the doors wide open with the most incredible view of the sunset, and in the morning of the sun rise. It was so warm I did not even use the sheet or sleeping bag.

Thursday 28 July - Undues de Lerda to Sanguesa - 10 km
I have forgotten. Must do the diary every evening!

Friday 29 July - Sanguesa to Lumbier - 10 km (landed up being 15 km)
Set off from Saguesa okay. Sara and I walked together and then Sara went ahead of me. I walked slowly but caught up with her because she had stopped. She realised that we were on the wrong track. We did not know what to do. Two local ladies came past and told us that we were on the wrong road. We had to turn around and do another extra 5 km. Sara went on ahead - she was going to Monreal and I was going to Lumbier.
I thought I got lost. I tried to follow the signs, some things I felt were wrong. Eventually I started using Google Map. Google Map told me that to get to Lumbier I had to travel along the highway. It was raining. I had on my black poncho, and me walking around the highway. The police stopped. They wanted to know where I was going and why I was walking on the highway. I tried to explain that's the only way that I knew to get to Lumbier. Well, they took a photograph of my passport, they made me install an app to alert the police of danger, and then tried themselves to find a way to get to Lumbier that wasn't on the highway. They could not. They gave me permission to go along the highway which is what I did for about 5-6 km. Along the way I stopped at a bar for a coffee and bocadilia.
When I came out I again tried to find the right way. I was told to follow the yellow arrows. I got lost again but the police found me - they had been looking for me - they put me on what they thought was the right road. Eventually I got onto the path going through the Foz de Lumbier - beautiful! I saw large birds soaring in the air. It was wonderful, but it was quite a traumatic day being lost. Very grateful for the help from the police and Guardia.

30 July - Lumbier to Monreal - 21 km
I set off from the hotel on the highway, but I must have missed the yellow arrow leading to the path. I walked and walked. At the round about I took the route I thought was correct only ... Then opened Google Map - thought I may as well do the 21 km on the highway. I walked and walked. I got to a town and walked into it thinking it was on the route. But I met a Camino Angel who walked with me about 5 km and put me on the correct path.
I walked through gates, saw cows and horses, and walked and walked. This Way is not as easy as the French or Primitivo. You have to be agile.
Eventually I reached Monreal, full albergue, people who took the main route and myself who took the variant.
Too late for lunch, but had supper in the bar. Met an interesting Hungarian pilgrim. Given up his job as an international banker in Budapest, wants to do something which satisfies his soul. The Afghan and other refugees trying to enter his country, and the borders closed, made him rethink. This is what the Camino is about - meeting people you would never meet in your normal life. I spoke about how I want to continue working to contribute to uplifting.

31 July - Monreal to Tibeas - 10 km (km in Spain is much longer than km in SA)
Had lovely egg and bacon bocadilia for breakfast in bar in Monreal and left the small town at about 8.15. Walked up and down on stony roads and then stony paths. Very difficult terrain. In sun and then shade. Looked at farmers bailing their straw into bales, note on a Sunday! The farmers here WORK. Beautiful fields. At about lunch time ate a bocadilia I was carrying. Today I drank water. I took 500 mls, finished it, drank at a fountain, filled bottle and finished it. At the albergue I drank a coke, and after showering got a beer and potato and tuna salad from the vending machine.
As I walked I talked to ... and thanked Him that my friend is in remission from cancer.
I had no energy today and in hindsight think it is probably because yesterday had no lunch (when I arrived the bar was closed for siesta) and my supper of salad was either too late or missing in starch.
I arrived at 2 in the tiny town of Tibeas, lovely modern albergue. Showered, ate and slept. Tonight only 5 pilgrims. This evening two are sleeping, two have gone to the swimming pool, and I have selected the bar. I have ordered a hamburger as I want protein and starch. The bar is huge but only has about 10 persons (I know 7pm is very early in Spain) who are playing cards.

1 August - Tibeas to Puente la Reina - 17 km
Today's walk was so much better than yesterday's - better food, rucksack taken by Correos and a much easier terrain. Not so much up and down hill with rocks. Breakfast was lovely, even with a note 'Goeie more'. Embarrassment - I did not know how to use a pod in the coffee machine. Wheat fields changed to sunflowers, vines and asparagus. Maybe more shade cover.
Obanos was a total shock to the system. Many young pilgrims going at speed, to reach Puente la Reina or further on. Reaching an alberque in Puente I met noisy pilgrims. Not possible to have an afternoon sleep in the dorm. The noise was a shock to the system.
Tried to get lunch in the 'main' road, only to realise it was the route for all bikers and pilgrims going on their journey. Walked out of one place. Wandered down another, and found a restaurant frequented by locals. I selected the cheapest set menu.
Lunch was roasted pimentos with paprika, and bread; followed by a salad; followed by a plate with dried meat (pigs fed on acorns - huge delicacy) and tiny starch chips; followed by butter bean soup; followed by a huge entrecot and chips; followed by nutmeg ice cream and coffee. Lunch plus a beer, 22 euros.
That evening at the albergue was a time of flies, flying things that bit, and noise. Discussed doing the Bustan or Vadinian routes. Has long chat with retired Spanish social worker about all the refugees coming into Spain from Mali and Senegal. Did not sleep well.

My Aragonese Camino started in 2018 is now completed.
The first part was from Lourdes in France, over the mountains at Somport, in Spain, and I stopped at Jaca when I broke my leg - this was done as part of a tour group. The part just completed was from Jaca to Puente la Reina, solo, following the route found at gronze.com/camino-aragones I did not always walk the indicated distances. This camino is very very different to the popular French Camino and has no similarity to the 2010 movie The Way.

2 August - Puente la Reina to Pamplona
In Puente la Reina walked down to the bus stop and at the scheduled time of 11.27 the bus arrived. The Spanish transport system of buses and trains is superb. Went to Pamplona. Had a coffee and sandwich and then booked into a hotel. It had been a choice between a hotel or an albergue, but I wanted to be alone and get up after 6. So nice to have one own's space. Calm city, not as frenetic as Madrid but maybe it is just where I am having lunch on the plaza.

3 August – Pamplona to Madrid
Took taxi from hotel to Pamplona train station, and caught the train to Madrid. Took taxi to the prebooked hotel, the same one I had used three weeks earlier. Now three weeks ago I left Cape Town in 12 degrees wearing a jacket and beanie, and the plane was very cold and I wore them on the plane. I arrived to 35 degrees in Madrid. I did not plan carrying my jacket and hat across Spain in the heat wave, so I dumped them at the hotel. I did not know what my plans were except that I was flying out of Madrid. Yesterday I decided to spent my preflight night in Madrid, and booked the same hotel. I thought a jacket and beanie would be needed on the plane, and considered replacing those items here, if necessary. I enquired at reception if by chance they had found the clothes and still had them. Hotel Lauria is to be commended. I have those clothes!
Madrid is hot and frenetic. The streets are full of people - it is difficult to believe. My room is over the Via Grande, the door is open and at 23h00 the street is still busy.
Delightful. Thank you.

Perhaps you might invest in a compass?
 

Grahammac

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Arles/Arogonese (2019)
Thanks for telling your story. I'm soaking up any info I can get on the route. Have been using Gronze, but here isn't much out there. I am planning to walk the Aragones alone next spring using the same itinerary as you did. The official stage between Sanguesa and Monreal concerns me. There's an 18 kilometer stretch where there are no services. I'll be 76 and would not want to have a problem walking alone. So I'll be going though Lumbier.
I am not sure why he had so much problem staying on the route. I followed the signs and had no issues. The only part was leaving Sanguesa and taking the left turn off the main road up to towards the St Francis of Assisi monastery/nunnery and well. After that, easy.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I'm not sure the bus from Jaca to the monastery is running anymore. I've been trying to find info too. For a good description of the walk up the hill to the monastery see the video on Youtube on the Nadine Walks channel. It looks pretty difficult. Coming downhill from the monastery I've read that there's also a steep and difficult section. Good luck and Buen Camino
I read this about the walk up to the monastery leaving from Jaca. It is the translation from Gronze.com. I am not going to do it.

"We can take the interesting variant that passes through the monasteries, the new and the old, of San Juan de la Peña; it increases the distance by 13.8 km and presents an accumulated positive slope of 988 meters (Jaca - Santa Cilia). This variant, signposted as GR 65.3.2, runs along rocky stretches of mountain paths with steep slopes. There are no complicated steps and the signage is good, but it is only recommended for pilgrims with experience on this type of path; In addition, we advise against going alone. In this case, the end of the natural stage is Santa Cilia."

Make sure you download the AlertCops app like I mentioned. I think it will add a good layer of support for your walk next year.
 
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Walked it twice (once in each direction!) and didn’t get lost - signage was good and had a mapping app, so that helped a bit. There is ZERO need to walk on the highway at any point, so if you find yourself doing that, stop and find the correct trail.

We walked from Jaca to SJdlP, but chose the road as it was snowing and that route can be a bit tough. The “new” monastery was open as a parador and we were the only guests! Since Covid, though, the hotel has been closed and the bus cancelled, but perhaps that will change soon.

Definitely take the detour to Javier - the castle is spectacular and quite historic. Also, Sanguesa to Monreal is a long walk, so taking the detour through the Foz to Lumbier is highly recommended. No albergue there, but the town’s only hotel will give you a pilgrim discount.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
Hi. Really interesting trip! I walked it in 2019, starting at my home in France, and done over 250kms by the time I arrived in Jaca. Luckily, I only strayed a little. From Ruesta and Undues to Sanguesa was a struggle, and then walking the section to Monreal in the rain, because most is clay, must have been a real mental challenge. It was dry for me. I went from Monreal to Obanos in 1 day - a mistake, considering I was 71 at the time.

It is a very lonely route and I walked all of it alone. Max 3 pilgrims any night.

I continued to Compostela, and the 9n to Finisterra and Muxia. I came home a very changed person
It is very lonely. There were few pilgrims, but I could not speak Spanish and their English was rudimentary.
I am 73 and walked slowly.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
Thanks for sharing your experience.
I will be walking in starting October 21 from Somport. I never walk in the summer for the very reasons you illustrated. Being retired I do have that luxury. I do not mind caminos that have very few pilgrims. Just walked the VDLP from Mid October to the beginning of December 2021.
I have a question and a few comments. It is a good thing that the police had you download alertcops. Downloading that app is the first thing I do when I get to Spain especially knowing the type of camino I will be walking. Do you know about Wise Pilgrim or Buen Camino? They are free apps that have downloadable GPS that can be invaluable in desolate caminos especially in hot weather.
I will go to the Monastery between Jaca and Santa Cilia. I was wondering why you walked to Santa Cilia first instead of going from Jaca. I have read there is a bus from Jaca that will take you there. I was thinking of going up early and then walking down to Sata CIlia in the afternoon. Gronze shows it as about 11.5k. I do not know how difficult that downhill is so when I get to Canfranc or to Jaca I will get better information. Did you enjoy the Monastery? It looks pretty special from the photos.
FInally why do you think you got lost so much. I have read many other accounts of people doing the Aragones and have always had the impression it was pretty well marked and did not hear about people having problems finding and staying on the camino. Am I mistaken?
On 4 June there was no app for the Aragones route. Maybe there is one now. Michael Matynka said he may have time to finish it before I left but I did not check.
I walked to Sante Cilia because I intended taking a taxi up to the monastery. When we were at the monastery we did see a bus there - I do not know where it came from. Walking down to the town from the monastery is doable on the road. The monastery is beautiful and strange. It is difficult to believe that it was created and maintained in such a remote and seemingly inaccessible place.
I think I got lost so often because the waymarking is faded, and few/little in places. I have walked many caminos before and never had this problem. My eyes are fine but I am older - I was tired when I started (I had just graded many many graduate students' work before I left but for previous caminos I had just sent books off to the publishers - so I was not really any more tired.)
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
P.S. I am also from SA. I only met 1 other person from SA during my walk. Primitivo next year.
Best wishes.
I have done the Primitivo twice - will not do it again. On the second time in 2015 it was very crowded.
Hope you select a good time to walk it.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
Walked it twice (once in each direction!) and didn’t get lost - signage was good and had a mapping app, so that helped a bit. There is ZERO need to walk on the highway at any point, so if you find yourself doing that, stop and find the correct trail.

We walked from Jaca to SJdlP, but chose the road as it was snowing and that route can be a bit tough. The “new” monastery was open as a parador and we were the only guests! Since Covid, though, the hotel has been closed and the bus cancelled, but perhaps that will change soon.

Definitely take the detour to Javier - the castle is spectacular and quite historic. Also, Sanguesa to Monreal is a long walk, so taking the detour through the Foz to Lumbier is highly recommended. No albergue there, but the town’s only hotel will give you a pilgrim discount.
I did try to find the correct way. I did not walk on the highway intentionally. I could not find the correct way.
If you go to the hotel in Lumbier be careful of booking via Booking.com as you then do not get a discount. I did not get a discount. I did not ask for one as I did not know about it.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
Thanks for telling your story. I'm soaking up any info I can get on the route. Have been using Gronze, but here isn't much out there. I am planning to walk the Aragones alone next spring using the same itinerary as you did. The official stage between Sanguesa and Monreal concerns me. There's an 18 kilometer stretch where there are no services. I'll be 76 and would not want to have a problem walking alone. So I'll be going though Lumbier.
Monreal has unexpected charms. The main bar only seems to open late. The ATM in the town is very modern (for me) - it videos you as you draw cash! There is a bar in the lower part of the town which opens at 8 in the morning - great breakfast food (bacon and egg bocadillio) - bought a roll to take with me on my journey. (I do not know if it opens at night.)
I had a problem leaving Lumbier so make sure you get on the trail.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
I read this about the walk up to the monastery leaving from Jaca. It is the translation from Gronze.com. I am not going to do it.

"We can take the interesting variant that passes through the monasteries, the new and the old, of San Juan de la Peña; it increases the distance by 13.8 km and presents an accumulated positive slope of 988 meters (Jaca - Santa Cilia). This variant, signposted as GR 65.3.2, runs along rocky stretches of mountain paths with steep slopes. There are no complicated steps and the signage is good, but it is only recommended for pilgrims with experience on this type of path; In addition, we advise against going alone. In this case, the end of the natural stage is Santa Cilia."

Make sure you download the AlertCops app like I mentioned. I think it will add a good layer of support for your walk next year.
As I walked the route from Jaca to Sante Cilia I kept thinking I was actually on the road to the monasteries - the route went up and up. The comments above about the signage - mmm.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
Thanks for telling your story. I'm soaking up any info I can get on the route. Have been using Gronze, but here isn't much out there. I am planning to walk the Aragones alone next spring using the same itinerary as you did. The official stage between Sanguesa and Monreal concerns me. There's an 18 kilometer stretch where there are no services. I'll be 76 and would not want to have a problem walking alone. So I'll be going though Lumbier.
In Lumbier be careful crossing the road to the hotel from the Foz road. There is no zebra crossing and cars come flying down the hill.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
I am not sure why he had so much problem staying on the route. I followed the signs and had no issues. The only part was leaving Sanguesa and taking the left turn off the main road up to towards the St Francis of Assisi monastery/nunnery and well. After that, easy.
You talk about 'he'. Is that me? I am female - thanks.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I'm not sure the bus from Jaca to the monastery is running anymore. I've been trying to find info too. For a good description of the walk up the hill to the monastery see the video on Youtube on the Nadine Walks channel. It looks pretty difficult. Coming downhill from the monastery I've read that there's also a steep and difficult section. Good luck and Buen Camino
I think I will take the bus if there is one. I figure that when I arrive in Canfranc Estacion I will go to the tourist office (If it is open) and ask about transportation and getting up and down from the monastery. If I cannot find information in the tourist office I am sure I (and you too) can get information at the albergue in Jaca or one of the hotels and there is a tourist office in Jaca. According to Google it is open 7 days a week. I will be there on October 22nd. When will you be walking?
 
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lt56ny

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Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
On 4 June there was no app for the Aragones route. Maybe there is one now. Michael Matynka said he may have time to finish it before I left but I did not check.
I walked to Sante Cilia because I intended taking a taxi up to the monastery. When we were at the monastery we did see a bus there - I do not know where it came from. Walking down to the town from the monastery is doable on the road. The monastery is beautiful and strange. It is difficult to believe that it was created and maintained in such a remote and seemingly inaccessible place.
I think I got lost so often because the waymarking is faded, and few/little in places. I have walked many caminos before and never had this problem. My eyes are fine but I am older - I was tired when I started (I had just graded many many graduate students' work before I left but for previous caminos I had just sent books off to the publishers - so I was not really any more tired.)
I know what it is like to be getting older;). I don't care what anyone says it ain't a bowl of cherries. I will do research on getting up and down. If I can get a bus early and I finish at the monastery early enough I will walk down if the road is safe.
Sorry two more questions. How long do you think one needs to be at the monastery to really enjoy it and is there food there or should I shop the day before in Jaca. I usually make a sandwich every day anyway.
Thanks for the information and I will keep my eyes open and have my buen camino app to check that I am on the camino periodically if I am not sure.
Thanks so much.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
There are no services beyond a toilet at the old monastery. If the parador at the new monastery is open, they have a full-service restaurant. The museum at the new monastery may also have some minimal food available, but I wouldn’t count on it.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
There are no services beyond a toilet at the old monastery. If the parador at the new monastery is open, they have a full-service restaurant. The museum at the new monastery may also have some minimal food available, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Agree. Nothing at the old. I did buy some sausage at the gift shop in the new and that was all they had for food. My memory is hazy here but there may be vending machines in the corridors at the lodging part of the new. Play it safe though, take food.

I planned on the old monastery to be the main point of my walk. My pictures showed that I spent a bit over 30 minutes at the new, a 30 minute walk to the old and about an hour and a half at the old. I walked down the trail to Santa Cruz (not Santa Cilia) and that took about another hour and a half. So about four hours top to bottom. I'm used to rugged trails so I don't consider the descend bad but I can see where others may.
 

SioCamino

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
@lt56ny there is an app published by the local tourism board promoting the route but IIRC it mainly had info on the historical sites.
I downloaded GPS tracks from Gronze (i think!) and found those very useful (especially after Lumbier where there was a small gap in signage).
Generally speaking i found the signage excellent in Aragon and slightly less so in Navarra before the merge with the francés.

And re the bus from Jaca to SJdlP, this was certainly running last September, we took it up to the monastery and then back down, we got off and rejoined the Camino (didn't go all the way back to Jaca).

Hope this is of help
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
I know what it is like to be getting older;). I don't care what anyone says it ain't a bowl of cherries. I will do research on getting up and down. If I can get a bus early and I finish at the monastery early enough I will walk down if the road is safe.
Sorry two more questions. How long do you think one needs to be at the monastery to really enjoy it and is there food there or should I shop the day before in Jaca. I usually make a sandwich every day anyway.
Thanks for the information and I will keep my eyes open and have my buen camino app to check that I am on the camino periodically if I am not sure.
Thanks so much.
I did not see any food for sale at the monasteries. We stopped on the way down at the little beautiful town, visited their church, photographed the chimneys, and had drinks at the bar.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I'm not sure the bus from Jaca to the monastery is running anymore. I've been trying to find info too. For a good description of the walk up the hill to the monastery see the video on Youtube on the Nadine Walks channel. It looks pretty difficult. Coming downhill from the monastery I've read that there's also a steep and difficult section. Good luck and Buen Camino
I have watched her videos thanks. It was her video that convinced me along with the description on Gronze that the best way to go would be a bus up to the monastery. I still haven't decided about the walk down. Those steep descents can do a number on my knees and hips (I am 68). I usually zig zag down those kinds of descents but I don't know how practical that will be if I am walking along the road. Like I wrote previously I am not going to stress about transportation. I will check with the tourist office in Canfranc Estacion. There is also a tourist office in Jaca. Even if they are not open I am sure the hospitalario at the albergue in Jaca can help or any of the hotels in the town. If worse comes to worse I can always get a taxi. I would not worry about it if I were you.
In regards to the stage from Sanguelsa to Monreal. Gronze suggests staying on the original route while the Buen Camino app suggests going thru Lumbier. I nixed the Lumbier route because it is 5k longer and and the hotel is pretty expensive. If I do walk the whole distance my plan is to for sure shop the night before, walk to Rocaforte. Take off my pack and rest about 15 minutes and have some water and little something for energy. Make the hike up to ALto de Aibar. Rest for an hour or so. Make lunch, eat some fruit, take my shoes off if I can and kick back. Walk the rest of the way to Izco and rest again. Then I will evaluate how I feel. Either keep walking or if I am really beat I will take a taxi to Monreal. Either from Izco or one of the other two towns. I will no longer push myself to walk a distance that I am not physically able to and risk pain or injury. Before I leave Sanguesa I will get the number of a taxi company/driver. Or look it up in the internet. I speak enough Spanish to call for a taxi on my own.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Walked it twice (once in each direction!) and didn’t get lost - signage was good and had a mapping app, so that helped a bit. There is ZERO need to walk on the highway at any point, so if you find yourself doing that, stop and find the correct trail.

We walked from Jaca to SJdlP, but chose the road as it was snowing and that route can be a bit tough. The “new” monastery was open as a parador and we were the only guests! Since Covid, though, the hotel has been closed and the bus cancelled, but perhaps that will change soon.

Definitely take the detour to Javier - the castle is spectacular and quite historic. Also, Sanguesa to Monreal is a long walk, so taking the detour through the Foz to Lumbier is highly recommended. No albergue there, but the town’s only hotel will give you a pilgrim discount.
I will be walking in late October. I checked the hotel in Lumbier and a room is $65US. Which is above my budget. I was wondering if you remember how much you paid when you booked with the hotel. I always try to book directly as I know there are often lower prices and I do not want the owners of albergues/hostels to pay Bookings their commission.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I will be walking in late October. I checked the hotel in Lumbier and a room is $65US. Which is above my budget. I was wondering if you remember how much you paid when you booked with the hotel. I always try to book directly as I know there are often lower prices and I do not want the owners of albergues/hostels to pay Bookings their commission.
Things have greatly increased in price due to inflation and Covid. Fortunately, I travel with my wife and so any hotel cost is compared with getting two beds in an albergue - in short, it’s often similar in price. When we stayed at the Hotel Irubide in Lumbier in 2018 and 2019, we paid around $50-$55 with the pilgrim discount - $65 seems about right given all that is going on. It was pricey, but the only game in town and they gave us a SPECTACULAR room with a balcony overlooking the valley and a giant jacuzzi tub. It was a splurge, but worth it.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I nixed the Lumbier route because it is 5k longer and and the hotel is pretty expensive.
I think you misunderstood my recommendation to go through Lumbier. I meant making it two stages: Sanguesa-Lumbier and then Lumbier-Monreal. It’s farther overall, but each day is shorter than Sanguesa-Monreal and you get to walk through the spectacular gorge via the route of the first electric train in Spain!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
In the autumn of 2019 the Sangüesa hospitalera mentioned that there is an early morning bus that leaves not far from the albergue that goes part way to Lumbier.

Also, if you walk the camino from Sangüesa, you cross the river near the cathedral and take a right. 400 m down the road is a supermarket.
 
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I still haven't decided about the walk down. Those steep descents can do a number on my knees and hips (I am 68). I usually zig zag down those kinds of descents but I don't know how practical that will be if I am walking along the road.
Definitely don't do the trail then. I did do the trail so I'm not sure about the road conditions but it can't be too busy; there's no though traffic, the road goes up to the monasteries for tourists and nowhere else.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Things have greatly increased in price due to inflation and Covid. Fortunately, I travel with my wife and so any hotel cost is compared with getting two beds in an albergue - in short, it’s often similar in price. When we stayed at the Hotel Irubide in Lumbier in 2018 and 2019, we paid around $50-$55 with the pilgrim discount - $65 seems about right given all that is going on. It was pricey, but the only game in town and they gave us a SPECTACULAR room with a balcony overlooking the valley and a giant jacuzzi tub. It was a splurge, but worth it.
Sometimes I guess you have to take what the camino and albergues/hotels give you! Thanks.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Definitely don't do the trail then. I did do the trail so I'm not sure about the road conditions but it can't be too busy; there's no though traffic, the road goes up to the monasteries for tourists and nowhere else.
Here's a traffic report. ;)

Well, actually aerial photos of the area including both monasteries in one shot.
 
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It is very lonely. There were few pilgrims, but I could not speak Spanish and their English was rudimentary.
I am 73 and walked slowly.

Sometimes I guess you have to take what the camino and albergues/hotels give you! Thanks.
I am following this discussion with interest as I plan to walk this in early October. Is this basically a cash economy--how available are ATMs? I am older [73] and just recently developed some back issues so am glad Correos is available, but may have other unexpected expenses which I've not had to deal with in my past caminos.
 

lt56ny

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Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I am following this discussion with interest as I plan to walk this in early October. Is this basically a cash economy--how available are ATMs? I am older [73] and just recently developed some back issues so am glad Correos is available, but may have other unexpected expenses which I've not had to deal with in my past caminos.
Buen Camino and I hope you post a little of your pilgrimage as I will start walking on October 21st.
The Buen Camino app as well as Gronze uses a globe to indicate all services which almost certainly will include an ATM machine in the town: You can download Buen Camino and it has a downloadable GPS map. Wise Pilgrim apps use the Euro symbol to identify towns with ATM's. I don't think you should have a problem. I always keep an extra 200 Euro in reserve. I never touch it as I keep it in case there is an emergency. Do a little planning when you get to 100 Euros to see how far an ATM is. Always try to withdraw money during banking hours in case the machine eats your card. I almost always get money either Thursdays or Fridays to be sure I have money on the weekend. You have walked before so I am sure I must be repeating myself.
If you do not know about Alert Cops I would say downloading the app is a must for everyone. It is easy super easy to set up and if you are lost, injured, in danger or any other unforeseen emergency you can activate the app and you will be put in touch with someone who speaks English (Of course there are other languages too. You pick your language preference when you set the app up). THere is a GPS on the app so the police can find you if need be. I am 68 and the first thing I do when I arrive in Spain is get a SIm card from Vodafone and then set up the app immediately. To cut down on expenses as I am a budget pilgrim is I almost always buy food the night before to cool that evening and to have some fruit and a sandwich/sardines/ salad whatever ror lunch the next day. I usually find a comfortable rock or bench or wall to sit on and have a nice relaxing lunch. If I am in a town then I go get a coffee and relax a little more. I do the same with dinner. Try to find a few other pilgrims to cook something. Will be tougher on this camino of course.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
The Aragon route is generally a cash-only one since it’s much less traveled and internet connectivity isn’t always available. Plus donativos have just a cash donation box and no way to accept plastic. Jaca is the largest city on the route and most places will accept credit cards there, but cash is definitely still king and the albergue is cash-only.

If you have health issues, though, please rethink this route. It can be very remote at times without cellular service. With so few pilgrims walking the route, you could get stranded somewhere without anyone passing by for hours or possibly days.
 
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In Tiebas the albergue has a small selection of meal items for you if you cook (or just know how to heat things). There are some vending machines as well. There is a bar in town but I can't report on it as it was full of residents post a funeral service and I didn't think it appropriate for me to visit.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
In Tiebas the albergue has a small selection of meal items for you if you cook (or just know how to heat things). There are some vending machines as well. There is a bar in town but I can't report on it as it was full of residents post a funeral service and I didn't think it appropriate for me to visit.
The bar in Tiebas is actually quite good! It was our only option due to the unstocked “pantry” and vending machines at the albergue.
 
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mspath

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Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
The bar in Tiebas is actually quite good! It was our only option due to the unstocked “pantry” and vending machines at the albergue.
Vacajoe,
I have walked to Tiebas twice staying in the old, now replaced, albergue but like you enjoyed the only bar in town. Here is an account of one visit.
 

sharon w

Active Member
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Aussie Camino 2016
Thanks for sharing your experience.
I will be walking in starting October 21 from Somport. I never walk in the summer for the very reasons you illustrated. Being retired I do have that luxury. I do not mind caminos that have very few pilgrims. Just walked the VDLP from Mid October to the beginning of December 2021.
I have a question and a few comments. It is a good thing that the police had you download alertcops. Downloading that app is the first thing I do when I get to Spain especially knowing the type of camino I will be walking. Do you know about Wise Pilgrim or Buen Camino? They are free apps that have downloadable GPS that can be invaluable in desolate caminos especially in hot weather.
I will go to the Monastery between Jaca and Santa Cilia. I was wondering why you walked to Santa Cilia first instead of going from Jaca. I have read there is a bus from Jaca that will take you there. I was thinking of going up early and then walking down to Sata CIlia in the afternoon. Gronze shows it as about 11.5k. I do not know how difficult that downhill is so when I get to Canfranc or to Jaca I will get better information. Did you enjoy the Monastery? It looks pretty special from the photos.
FInally why do you think you got lost so much. I have read many other accounts of people doing the Aragones and have always had the impression it was pretty well marked and did not hear about people having problems finding and staying on the camino. Am I mistaken?
We caught the bus from Jaca to San Juan de la Peña then walked down to Santa Cilia in the afternoon as you said. Walking in September/ October is a good time. There were quite a few pilgrims then.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
We caught the bus from Jaca to San Juan de la Peña then walked down to Santa Cilia in the afternoon as you said. Walking in September/ October is a good time. There were quite a few pilgrims then.
Thanks for the information. I will am sleeping in Jaca on October 21st. How was the walk down to Santa Cilia? Did you take the road or go down the trail? Buen Camino.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
There was no bus to the monasteries this summer and the hotel is closed. We took a cab. There is a cafeteria at the new monastery and don't take the Camino route/trail down. Take the road--less dangerous than the steep, narrow, rocky path.
 

sharon w

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Thanks for the information. I will am sleeping in Jaca on October 21st. How was the walk down to Santa Cilia? Did you take the road or go down the trail? Buen Camino.
We walked down the trail. It is rocky in parts and there are some steps. Just be more careful than usual. I used my sticks. The views are amazing from up the top so don’t always look down.
 
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J Willhaus

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We walked down the trail. It is rocky in parts and there are some steps. Just be more careful than usual. I used my sticks. The views are amazing from up the top so don’t always look down.
We are older and the path from the old monastery to Santa Cruz de los Seros was not at all easy for us even with poles. It would have been faster for us to walk on the road. In places it was narrow with sheer drop-offs and a cable tacked to the wall for support. Very rocky and steep.
 

peregrina2000

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We are older and the path from the old monastery to Santa Cruz de los Seros was not at all easy for us even with poles. It would have been faster for us to walk on the road. In places it was narrow with sheer drop-offs and a cable tacked to the wall for support. Very rocky and steep.
Another voice from the older crowd. This was, I think, the most difficult descent I’ve had on any camino, even worse than the descent on the Olvidado into the beech forest, mainly because it was so much longer. My knees did not recover for the rest of the camino. I remember thinking, as my knee shouted to me as I walked down the road into Ponte Ulla, that I was extremely glad that I was going to arrive in Santiago the next day.
 

lt56ny

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Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
We are older and the path from the old monastery to Santa Cruz de los Seros was not at all easy for us even with poles. It would have been faster for us to walk on the road. In places it was narrow with sheer drop-offs and a cable tacked to the wall for support. Very rocky and steep.
I am old too haha so I think I may stick to the road.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Curiosity got me so I looked up some tracks on Wikiloc. These are approximations.

The steepest part of the trail down from San Juan to Santa Cruz averages something like 16% (1,200 feet in 1.4 miles or 366 meters in 2.25 kilometers).

The road is twice as long so the average grade will be about 8%.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Curiosity got me so I looked up some tracks on Wikiloc. These are approximations.

The steepest part of the trail down from San Juan to Santa Cruz averages something like 16% (1,200 feet in 1.4 miles or 366 meters in 2.25 kilometers).

The road is twice as long so the average grade will be about 8%.
The road actually goes a different way instead of straight up and over. We should have taken the road even though it was longer...
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I tried the trail some years ago and had to turn back. It was far too difficult for me as I was walking with my pack and I have vertigo-- the drops were far too much for me. Some might find it possible, but I cheerfully took the longer road and waved at the curious bus tourists.
 

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