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My Experience on the Aragones Camino: Quiet and Memorable

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023 Vasco, Meseta, Portugues Coastal
I walked the Aragones/Frances and started about October 21st or so and finished about December 5 or 6. I had thought about posting during this camino but I changed my mind the first night.
I thought the Aragones was a wonderful Camino. It was very quiet and up until the last night before Puente La Reina I only saw two other pilgrims. They were a German couple. The nights they didn't sleep in the albergues I was all alone. ALL the albergues I stayed in were wonderful. Of course some more wonderful than others. I want to thank @J Willhaus for making sure there was a credential waiting for me in Canfranc. What a fantastic, new and welcoming albergue that is. The two hospitaleros were wonderful. One man from Ireland and the other from Spain. Great first night to sleep in after walking in the pouring rain the last few kilometers. Really nice and intimate communal dinner at the Arres and Ruesta albergues. Ruesta is the abandoned town that only has 3 people living there (They are all with the albergue). The people were so welcoming. There were friends that came and went all day and after dinner that night there were about 10 people drinking wine and chatting in the outdoor terrace. Really cool and different experience in Ruesta to say the least! There is a long hill (not difficult at all) leaving Ruesta. About half way up I saw some movement in the brush on the side of the camino about 50 or 60 yards ahead. Figured out quickly they were wild boars. There were at least 3 or 4. I stopped took out my little pocket knife and took the rubber tip off of my hiking poll and looked for some higher ground. I didn't move for about 4 or 5 minutes. Then I didn't see them anymore. I waited a few more minutes and slowly made my way up the hill. Thankfully they had moved on. I kept looking for higher ground as I walked and had the waist strap off my backpack and the shoulder straps loose ready to drop my pack if need be. Really nice view at the top of the hill. When I got to Undues de Lerda I talked to the bar owner (he had an amazing LP collection, especially if you are into Punk). He told me the woods leaving Ruesta are full of boars. (I also saw a few boars and lots of wild pigs, I think wild anyway, when I walked the VDLP last year.
All and all a great experience on the Aragones. I think you need to complete it before November 1. It seemed like many of the albergues would be closed after that date.
After I got on the CF of course there was a little pilgrim shock of basically being almost completely alone to seeing other pilgrims especially at night in the albergues. It was nice and fun meeting other pilgrims of course, but again so different then being on the Aragones. Many nights the albergues were crowded with pilgrims. Not because there were so many but because it looked to me that there were alot more albergues closed than I anticipated. I walked during the same time period (November-Dec) in 2019 when I walked from Pamplona and 2021 when I walked the VDLP and albergue owners were telling me to go to Astorga as they anticipated there would be very, very few albergues open on the Sanabria. It seemed the later in the month of November it got the more albergues were closed. Even albergues that APrinca had listed as open. Of course Gronze and Buen Camino listed open albergues that were closed. Which of course is not their fault. More and more owners were telling me that they were closing early because it was such a busy year and they were just exhausted. Can't blame them.
Never had a problem finding an open albergue. My only problem was that I wanted to really go slower the last 150k or so and stay off of the stages especially from Sarria but it was difficult because so many albergues were closed and I got to Santiago sooner than I had hoped.
Great weather early on. It got a little cold especially at night but it is so easy to warm up once you start walking and I even with a light sleeping bag I never was uncomfortable at night. There were days with lots of hard rain, sometimes even hurting my face when it hit me. But of course really nice pilgrims and friendships, lots of enjoyable evenings and a few memorable nights with Camino friends having a few goodbye dinners in Santiago. I stayed the first couple of nights in Albergue Blanco and loved it. The morning after I arrived in Santiago I got up late (about 8:30) and when I walked past the pilgrim office (it was really cold that morning) saw a friend and she convinced me to wait with her to get the free lunch at the Parador. I agreed (it was my third time haha) Went and got coffees for 4 of us and had alot of fun at lunch. Didn't like the food much but who cares it was free and as the saying goes Tourists demand, Pilgrims are thankful and I was thankful to share a table with wonderful pilgrims. The last couple of nights I stayed at San Martin Pinario and of course, well I don't have to tell you the value of that place!
Overall I was on the Camino and who can argue about being on the place I call home!
Already planning for next year.
Maybe do the Aragones again, then down to Madrid and up to Sahagun and on to Santiago. Maybe the Portuguese and the Variante. Or maybe the Vasco from Bayonne to Burgos and stay on the CF. I am learning that I think I like splitting up quiet less traveled caminos and then joining a more crowded one. Also walking when I do as I get later into the year I worry about finding albergues as the 30k or more days (unless absolutely necessary) I would like to leave behind me. Buen Camino
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Thank you for the report @lt56ny.

Three years ago I walked the Catalan and Aragonese in Oct/Nov. I enjoyed the scenery on the Aragonese much more than the Catalan pre-Pyrenees. Late on November 4th I joined the Aragonese at Santa Cilia. The albergue there was closed for the year but I walked the road in the dark to Puente de Reina de Jaca about 6 km further on to take a hotel room. Arres with its albergue was about 4 km further on but didn't feel like walking the extra distance to at night. Arres was probably open because I met two other pilgrims at Ruesta the next night. Anyway, the next few days the albergues at Ruesta, Sangüesa, Monreal and Tiebas were open. There were only the three of us each night.
 
Thank you for the report @lt56ny.

Three years ago I walked the Catalan and Aragonese in Oct/Nov. I enjoyed the scenery on the Aragonese much more than the Catalan pre-Pyrenees. Late on November 4th I joined the Aragonese at Santa Cilia. The albergue there was closed for the year but I walked the road in the dark to Puente de Reina de Jaca about 6 km further on to take a hotel room. Arres with its albergue was about 4 km further on but didn't feel like walking the extra distance to at night. Arres was probably open because I met two other pilgrims at Ruesta the next night. Anyway, the next few days the albergues at Ruesta, Sangüesa, Monreal and Tiebas were open. There were only the three of us each night.
It seems like maybe this year was different than past years. The hospitalerio in Arres said they were closing at the end of October. In Jaca I got the impression they were closing sometime in November. The young people in Ruesta were going to have a rock concert (Yep you heard me right haha) The second Saturday in November and they were probably going to close but who knows. I was going to readjust the nights where I was staying towards the end because I wanted to walk past Puente La Reina and sleep the night before in but Tiebas was closed and nothing was open between Puente La Reina and Estella. Of course it was all fine and dandy! Who can complain when you are on the camino??!!!I am glad you had lots of open albergues and had a really good camino. I hope that this route gets a little more attention that it deserves. My only disappointment was that I was in Jaca on a Saturday. It was a holiday weekend and I wanted to go to the Monastario. Went to the tourist office and they said there was no bus running the next day. I asked about a taxi and she told me that it would be a minimum of 50 Euros. I had no one to split a taxi. There was no way I was spending that kind of money for a 10 or 11k taxi ride. Guess I have to walk this camino again!
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
I had thought about posting during this camino but I changed my mind the first night.

Hola,
Felicidades on completing your latest Camino! I truly enjoyed reading about your adventure.
Your first sentence hit home for me. I always go with good intentions to post along the way. But then the Camino overwhelms me, in a good way, and I have never been able to post as I go. Even so, I appreciate those who are able to post and who are so generous in doing so.
Gracias!
Aymarah
 
My only disappointment was that I was in Jaca on a Saturday. It was a holiday weekend and I wanted to go to the Monastario. Went to the tourist office and they said there was no bus running the next day. I asked about a taxi and she told me that it would be a minimum of 50 Euros. I had no one to split a taxi. There was no way I was spending that kind of money for a 10 or 11k taxi ride. Guess I have to walk this camino again!
Do manage to visit San Juan de la Peña somehow.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Thank you @It56ny for an interesting report back. Makes my longing to return even stronger, though nursing a wonky knee at the moment. Will visit the GP asap as I don't want to have to postpone the Portuguese for a 3rd time! I

I like the idea of a more or less solitary camino followed by a busier one; that could be a plan for another year!
 
Looking forward to being an hospitalera in Canfranc next May 15-31!! Your post has made me even more excited about being there!
Have fun, don't let the cats in haha. Thanks for volunteering and you will be in such a lovely place. I doubt you will tire of sitting on the terrace (if you have the time) and look out onto the cliffs.
 
The 9th edition the Lightfoot Guide will let you complete the journey your way.
I walked the Aragones/Frances and started about October 21st or so and finished about December 5 or 6. I had thought about posting during this camino but I changed my mind the first night.
I thought the Aragones was a wonderful Camino. It was very quiet and up until the last night before Puente La Reina I only saw two other pilgrims. They were a German couple. The nights they didn't sleep in the albergues I was all alone. ALL the albergues I stayed in were wonderful. Of course some more wonderful than others. I want to thank @J Willhaus for making sure there was a credential waiting for me in Canfranc. What a fantastic, new and welcoming albergue that is. The two hospitaleros were wonderful. One man from Ireland and the other from Spain. Great first night to sleep in after walking in the pouring rain the last few kilometers. Really nice and intimate communal dinner at the Arres and Ruesta albergues. Ruesta is the abandoned town that only has 3 people living there (They are all with the albergue). The people were so welcoming. There were friends that came and went all day and after dinner that night there were about 10 people drinking wine and chatting in the outdoor terrace. Really cool and different experience in Ruesta to say the least! There is a long hill (not difficult at all) leaving Ruesta. About half way up I saw some movement in the brush on the side of the camino about 50 or 60 yards ahead. Figured out quickly they were wild boars. There were at least 3 or 4. I stopped took out my little pocket knife and took the rubber tip off of my hiking poll and looked for some higher ground. I didn't move for about 4 or 5 minutes. Then I didn't see them anymore. I waited a few more minutes and slowly made my way up the hill. Thankfully they had moved on. I kept looking for higher ground as I walked and had the waist strap off my backpack and the shoulder straps loose ready to drop my pack if need be. Really nice view at the top of the hill. When I got to Undues de Lerda I talked to the bar owner (he had an amazing LP collection, especially if you are into Punk). He told me the woods leaving Ruesta are full of boars. (I also saw a few boars and lots of wild pigs, I think wild anyway, when I walked the VDLP last year.
All and all a great experience on the Aragones. I think you need to complete it before November 1. It seemed like many of the albergues would be closed after that date.
After I got on the CF of course there was a little pilgrim shock of basically being almost completely alone to seeing other pilgrims especially at night in the albergues. It was nice and fun meeting other pilgrims of course, but again so different then being on the Aragones. Many nights the albergues were crowded with pilgrims. Not because there were so many but because it looked to me that there were alot more albergues closed than I anticipated. I walked during the same time period (November-Dec) in 2019 when I walked from Pamplona and 2021 when I walked the VDLP and albergue owners were telling me to go to Astorga as they anticipated there would be very, very few albergues open on the Sanabria. It seemed the later in the month of November it got the more albergues were closed. Even albergues that APrinca had listed as open. Of course Gronze and Buen Camino listed open albergues that were closed. Which of course is not their fault. More and more owners were telling me that they were closing early because it was such a busy year and they were just exhausted. Can't blame them.
Never had a problem finding an open albergue. My only problem was that I wanted to really go slower the last 150k or so and stay off of the stages especially from Sarria but it was difficult because so many albergues were closed and I got to Santiago sooner than I had hoped.
Great weather early on. It got a little cold especially at night but it is so easy to warm up once you start walking and I even with a light sleeping bag I never was uncomfortable at night. There were days with lots of hard rain, sometimes even hurting my face when it hit me. But of course really nice pilgrims and friendships, lots of enjoyable evenings and a few memorable nights with Camino friends having a few goodbye dinners in Santiago. I stayed the first couple of nights in Albergue Blanco and loved it. The morning after I arrived in Santiago I got up late (about 8:30) and when I walked past the pilgrim office (it was really cold that morning) saw a friend and she convinced me to wait with her to get the free lunch at the Parador. I agreed (it was my third time haha) Went and got coffees for 4 of us and had alot of fun at lunch. Didn't like the food much but who cares it was free and as the saying goes Tourists demand, Pilgrims are thankful and I was thankful to share a table with wonderful pilgrims. The last couple of nights I stayed at San Martin Pinario and of course, well I don't have to tell you the value of that place!
Overall I was on the Camino and who can argue about being on the place I call home!
Already planning for next year.
Maybe do the Aragones again, then down to Madrid and up to Sahagun and on to Santiago. Maybe the Portuguese and the Variante. Or maybe the Vasco from Bayonne to Burgos and stay on the CF. I am learning that I think I like splitting up quiet less traveled caminos and then joining a more crowded one. Also walking when I do as I get later into the year I worry about finding albergues as the 30k or more days (unless absolutely necessary) I would like to leave behind me. Buen Camino
Congrats on completing your pilgrimage and welcome back. Loved your summary of the trip. :)
 
The 9th edition the Lightfoot Guide will let you complete the journey your way.
Thanks for your insights. I walked the Aragonese from Lourdes with a group of South Africans ( what an experience).
I think I would love to walk again from Canfranc after a stint as hospitalera. 2024 hopefully
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I walked the Aragones/Frances and started about October 21st or so and finished about December 5 or 6. I had thought about posting during this camino but I changed my mind the first night.
I thought the Aragones was a wonderful Camino. It was very quiet and up until the last night before Puente La Reina I only saw two other pilgrims. They were a German couple. The nights they didn't sleep in the albergues I was all alone. ALL the albergues I stayed in were wonderful. Of course some more wonderful than others. I want to thank @J Willhaus for making sure there was a credential waiting for me in Canfranc. What a fantastic, new and welcoming albergue that is. The two hospitaleros were wonderful. One man from Ireland and the other from Spain. Great first night to sleep in after walking in the pouring rain the last few kilometers. Really nice and intimate communal dinner at the Arres and Ruesta albergues. Ruesta is the abandoned town that only has 3 people living there (They are all with the albergue). The people were so welcoming. There were friends that came and went all day and after dinner that night there were about 10 people drinking wine and chatting in the outdoor terrace. Really cool and different experience in Ruesta to say the least! There is a long hill (not difficult at all) leaving Ruesta. About half way up I saw some movement in the brush on the side of the camino about 50 or 60 yards ahead. Figured out quickly they were wild boars. There were at least 3 or 4. I stopped took out my little pocket knife and took the rubber tip off of my hiking poll and looked for some higher ground. I didn't move for about 4 or 5 minutes. Then I didn't see them anymore. I waited a few more minutes and slowly made my way up the hill. Thankfully they had moved on. I kept looking for higher ground as I walked and had the waist strap off my backpack and the shoulder straps loose ready to drop my pack if need be. Really nice view at the top of the hill. When I got to Undues de Lerda I talked to the bar owner (he had an amazing LP collection, especially if you are into Punk). He told me the woods leaving Ruesta are full of boars. (I also saw a few boars and lots of wild pigs, I think wild anyway, when I walked the VDLP last year.
All and all a great experience on the Aragones. I think you need to complete it before November 1. It seemed like many of the albergues would be closed after that date.
After I got on the CF of course there was a little pilgrim shock of basically being almost completely alone to seeing other pilgrims especially at night in the albergues. It was nice and fun meeting other pilgrims of course, but again so different then being on the Aragones. Many nights the albergues were crowded with pilgrims. Not because there were so many but because it looked to me that there were alot more albergues closed than I anticipated. I walked during the same time period (November-Dec) in 2019 when I walked from Pamplona and 2021 when I walked the VDLP and albergue owners were telling me to go to Astorga as they anticipated there would be very, very few albergues open on the Sanabria. It seemed the later in the month of November it got the more albergues were closed. Even albergues that APrinca had listed as open. Of course Gronze and Buen Camino listed open albergues that were closed. Which of course is not their fault. More and more owners were telling me that they were closing early because it was such a busy year and they were just exhausted. Can't blame them.
Never had a problem finding an open albergue. My only problem was that I wanted to really go slower the last 150k or so and stay off of the stages especially from Sarria but it was difficult because so many albergues were closed and I got to Santiago sooner than I had hoped.
Great weather early on. It got a little cold especially at night but it is so easy to warm up once you start walking and I even with a light sleeping bag I never was uncomfortable at night. There were days with lots of hard rain, sometimes even hurting my face when it hit me. But of course really nice pilgrims and friendships, lots of enjoyable evenings and a few memorable nights with Camino friends having a few goodbye dinners in Santiago. I stayed the first couple of nights in Albergue Blanco and loved it. The morning after I arrived in Santiago I got up late (about 8:30) and when I walked past the pilgrim office (it was really cold that morning) saw a friend and she convinced me to wait with her to get the free lunch at the Parador. I agreed (it was my third time haha) Went and got coffees for 4 of us and had alot of fun at lunch. Didn't like the food much but who cares it was free and as the saying goes Tourists demand, Pilgrims are thankful and I was thankful to share a table with wonderful pilgrims. The last couple of nights I stayed at San Martin Pinario and of course, well I don't have to tell you the value of that place!
Overall I was on the Camino and who can argue about being on the place I call home!
Already planning for next year.
Maybe do the Aragones again, then down to Madrid and up to Sahagun and on to Santiago. Maybe the Portuguese and the Variante. Or maybe the Vasco from Bayonne to Burgos and stay on the CF. I am learning that I think I like splitting up quiet less traveled caminos and then joining a more crowded one. Also walking when I do as I get later into the year I worry about finding albergues as the 30k or more days (unless absolutely necessary) I would like to leave behind me. Buen Camino
I knew the Aragones Camino existed but I know little about it. I am hoping to walk the Frances starting in July and wanted to start on the French border. I am not too sure where to start as I am just starting my reseach. This post has some good info ... thank you.

 

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