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My Stages on the Camino Olvidado

peregrina2000

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This Camino is truly unknown to most people, even to most Camino addicts. So its name (forgotten in English) is appropriate. This Camino leaves from Bilbao and heads southwest to Ponferrada, approximately 500 km. It has several wonderful days of mountain walking, a day or two with gorgeous mountain views in the distance, and many Roman, megalithic, romanesque, and gothic monuments. There are gps tracks for the first 7 days, which are available for download on caminosusanna´s trails posted on wikiloc.com. The rest of the stages will be available in the fall, when Susanna returns from walking the rest of the Olvidado. We will also have an English language guide at some point in the not too distant future.

In general, I would say that the Camino Olvidado is very well marked, and that a gps is only really helpful in a few situations, but having it really saved us from some major mistakes when the marking got bad. Our guide will detail those spots, so that even those without a gps shouldn’t worry about striking out on this Camino. Thankfully, the two real mountain stretches (La Velilla to Cistierna and Fasgar to Colinas) are perfectly well marked and are easy to navigate alone and without a gps. The road walking is not as pronounced, at least in my memory, as on the Vadiniense, for instance. There seemed to be a lot more off-road stretches, though some road walking is always inevitable.

In terms of scenery, this is a visually pleasant camino, with a few long boring dull stretches on the side of the road. There are some interesting end-stage towns (like Balmaseda, Espinosa, and Aguilar), but not the long list of great little places to explore that I had last year on the Levante from Valencia. People were exceedingly kind and helpful, with a mayor treating me to a vino and tapas, locals giving me cherries and fresh baked goods, and many helping me find a place to stay, and even in one instance opening their home to me.

This is another one of those routes waiting for the pilgrim craze to hit. The accommodations are still a negative. The only albergues are in Cistierna and La Robla, and those albergues are there primarily for the Vadiniense (Cistierna) and the Salvador (La Robla) – it’s just that the Olvidado crosses those routes. I’ve included some info on lodging so you can see how much it’s likely to cost you to take on this route, but the bottom line is that it will be more expensive than your "average" Camino. As always I am happy to answer questions and give opinions.
 
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peregrina2000

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Day 1 – Bilbao to Balmaseda (35 km). This is a long first day, many many kms on asphalt. You go through Bilbao and its suburbs, a few small towns, and finally Balmaseda. This town has several things of interest, a very pretty medieval bridge, some old buildings, and a hotel in the Convento San Roque, where you can get a double room pilgrim rate M-Th for 35 €. Shorter alternatives for the first day would be Güeña or Zalla.

Day 2 – Balmaseda to Nava de Ordunte (11 km) and then detour off camino to Villasana de Mena (11). We took this detour both for accommodation reasons (several options in Villasana) and in order to walk out to the very nice romanesque churches in Vallejo and Siones. There is a clearly marked, off-road walking trail to Vallejo (2.5 km) and then further on to Siones (another 2.5 km). Well worth a visit. Stayed at Hotel Don Pablo (55 € for two), which in theory offers pick up and drop off to the Camino in Nava de Ordunte. We walked into Villasana and took a taxi back the next morning, because the hotel owners didn´t want to drive us before 8:30 or 9:00.

Day 3 – Nava de Ordunte to Espinosa de los Monteros (32 km). Very nice day, but there are some places where marking is sparse. We were lucky because a member of the Bilbao Association, with whom I had corresponded a lot before the trip, came to meet us in Nava and walked with us to Bercedo (about 24 from Nava). There are parts of the stage from Burceña to Bercedo where we would have gotten lost without him, particularly toward the end. GPS tracks are available on wikilocs. Hostal Sancho García, (45 € double).

Day 4 – Espinosa de los Monteros to Pedrosa de Valdeporres (30 km). A day with some ups and downs, some of it over bald "montes" and very sunny. We had a treat with a short detour to some anthropomorphic tombs from the 6th or 7th century. Also, on our descent from the high point after Entrambosríos, we had a hard time following the camino, but made it to the bottom and found we were on the old railroad tracks for the never built train line from Calatalayud to Santander. Lots of remnants remain, including a tunnel, several stations, etc., with some interesting placards. Casa Rural La Engaña Pedrosa (55 € double – not great value), good meal in bar about a half km away in the little hamlet of Santelices on the highway.

Day 5 – Pedrosa de Valdeporres to Arija (29 km). Lots of asphalt walking, an occasional nice town or nice little jaunt through fields, but for the most part this is a "put your nose to the grind and walk" day. Not much elevation gain, not much to see, and the final destination of Arija is frankly a pretty depressing place. It´s another one of those places where the original town was flooded to make way for the reservoir. IMO, the soul of the town was flooded along with the houses and churches. The places to stay are in the "lower town" down by the reservoir, while the "upper town" has a pharmacy and a few bars. We stayed in the casa rural, there is a small shop nearby with very nice people and a fairly decent selection for such a small store. Casas Rural La Piedra (35€ double, including breakfast).

Day 6 – Arija to Olea (33 km). Now this was a day that started out with a lot of asphalt on the side of the road (18 km, in fact, though I was almost always able to walk on a dirt shoulder). But after Villafría, the day picked up quite a bit. First, a stop at a nice little romanesque church, and the Roman ruins of Juliobriga. Then an off road walk through fields and up a hill through a pine forest, and finally (after some scrambling and unclear marking), a visit to the not-to-be-missed church at Cervatos. From Cervatos to Olea, the off-road option ended in a barbed wire fence and required that I scramble back down to the highway, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. Olea has an "upper town" (the first part you come to) with the church and only bar in town. The "lower town", a km or two away, has the casas rurales where you can hopefully find a bed (we had no problem because it was not high season, the Casa Miguel was GREAT, 20 € each).

Day 7 – Olea to Aguilar de Campoo (25 km). A few medieval or roman bridges to cross, some trapsing through fields, a point where the marking was unclear but we were saved by a farmer in the fields. Highlights included some megalithic standing stones, some impressive sections of Roman Road, but the last few kms from Nestar into Aguilar are on a hard paved bike trail, which is not too comfy for the feet. Aguilar has a nice plaza mayor, a nice river walk and a romanesque church perched high on a hill below the ruins of the castle. Hotel Valentín (60€ double, including breakfast – there are cheaper options but the town was in fiestas when we were there).

Day 8 – Aguilar de Campoo to Cervera de Pisuerga (28 km). Very nice day with lots of river walking at the end. First part goes up and around the reservoir outside Aguilar, then through a small village and to some more anthropomorphic tombs, some road walking going through out-of the-way villages, and from Salinas de Pisuerga there is a lovely river path for many kms. Hostal Resbalón (35 € single).

Day 9 – Cervera de Pisuerga to Guardo (39 km). A long day, but some really beautiful parts. Up to an abandoned coal mine, then over some fields and down to the other side of the Montaña Palentina. You walk with gorgeous views for many many kms. Most of the day is off-road. Guardo is lacking in charm and planning, it is kind of splayed all over the hill and around the river. (Real Hotel 50€ single, including breakfast), but it has lots of commerce, anything you might reasonably need.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Day 10 – Guardo to La Velilla Sanctuary (25 km). After a pretty dismal start, things pick up after La Ercina, with some very nice off road paths. Pretty villages on the way up to the Sanctuary. The church is not in a town, but a few meters downhill is a nice casa rural, http://www.lavelilla.es/, 38 € including a subpar dinner and breakfast, but run by two very nice women, transplants from Madrid. Lots of beautiful afternoon walking in the area made this a very special day. You could add on the 15 km into Cistierna, but having the afternoon free in this lovely place was a real bonus.

Day 11 – La Velilla to Cistierna (15 km). Very short day, the vast majority of it on a broad mountain path with great views. Lots of oooohs and aaaahhhs, really nice. Cistierna is not exactly a stunning place to look at, but the people are fabulous and I stayed in Hostal Moderno (25 € single), terrific menú del día there, not to be missed.

Day 12 – Cistierna to Boñar (26 km). Nothing difficult about this day, generally great marking, some nice off road tracks. Not much in the way of elevation or views. Seemed to be in transition from the Picos mountains behind me, and the mountains a few days ahead. Hostal Inés (20 € pilgrim price, but you may have to ask). Nice old bridge about a km out of town. Great picnic spot, and if you´re lucky like I was, a friend may appear out of nowhere with a picnic basket for a nice few hours of relaxing!

Day 13 – Boñar to La Robla (33 km). Many kms were alongside the road, lots of coal operations going on, some nice off-road paths. Good marking the whole way. The last 7 km into La Robla are on a very nice trail, which takes you to one of the road entrances and you easily find your way to the center. Pilgrim albergue, very nice.

Day 14 – La Robla to Pandorado (35 km). Another day with a lot of road walking, some of it not so stunning. Well marked, except for one spot on the last few kms, where you ascend to Pandorado. Only accommodation option here is Casa Resthy, 60 € for the apt., whether you are 1, 2, or 3 people.

Day 15 – Pandorado to Fasgar (27 km). Big improvement over the day before, lots of off-road walking, some of it on green paths next to rivers and far from cars, some of it through nice little towns with friendly residents. Fasgar is at the end of the road, and from here to the next town it´s either 75 km by car or 15 km over the mountain. Several people in Fasgar are very eager to help pilgrims find a place to sleep, so you shouldn´t worry that there´s no hostal or albergue. This is a beautiful mountain town, I spent a wonderful afternoon with a family who lives there year round (3 of the town´s total 8 year round residents) and came away with a lot of admiration for this nearly self-sufficient, off the grid family.

Day 16 – Fasgar to Quintana de los Fuseros (28 km). Wonderful day. The first 15 km to Campo de Colinas are well marked, all off road through the mountain, through the Campo de Santiago (site of the battle between Moors and Christians where Santiago made a guest appearance and helped to defeat the Moors). All perfectly well marked, and the last 6 or 7 kms go through green tunnels and holm oak alongside the river. From Campo de Colinas to Igüeña is a wide dirt biking path, mostly along the river, too. From Igüeña to Quintana, after a km on the road leaving Iguëña, there are 7 or so km on a logging road, through fields and up the monte, and you get your first views of the beautiful Bierzo region. All in all a perfect day. Casa Rural el Caruzal (very nice owner, kind to pilgrims, 20€ for use of a bedroom and the rest of the huge casa rural. I was also told, however, that if you ask in one of the town´s two bars, there are other options available).

Day 17 – Quintana de los Fuseros to Congosto. (28 km). Very pleasant day, lots of off road walking, nothing stunning, nothing awful, pretty flat, no problems with marking. In Congosto there are two casas rurales, both of which will open up for pilgrims. Particularly accommodating was the owner of CR Alvaro de Mendaña, who was out of town, but went to great lengths to arrange for someone to meet me at the house and let me in. Good meal in the mesón across the street, several nice bars.

Day 18 – Congosto to Columbrianos and then into Ponferrada (19 km). Fair amount of road walking to the dam at the foot of the reservoir, then off road through small towns (one problem spot with markings but the guide will clear it up), and finally into Columbrianos where you merge with the Camino Francés.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Yes
Thanks, Laurie.
I made this a sticky for those who may be considering a new adventure.
Your other thread in this forum is an important read for those folk also!
 

NadAmr

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
02.013 to 06.2013 : Lyon (FR)-Pamplona
09.2013 to 12.2013 : SJPP-Santiago-Fisterra-Muxia
Merci pour le rapport! Semble interressant!
 
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peregrina2000

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Staff member
There are now gps tracks for the Camino Olvidado. You can find the first seven on wikiloc.com if you look for tracks entered by caminosusanna.

I recorded the rest of the days, but Susanna is going to go back and finish up the camino in September and she will take my tracks and turn them into a final product.

But if by chance anyone is going to undertake this route in the near future, I can send you my gps tracks, so you would have all the tracks now. Buen camino, Laurie
 

petro

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2008 April/May) (2011 May/June) (2014 May/June), Camino Primitivo (May 2016)
Loved your blog!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
On another thread, Ender (aka Camino Angel of the Camino del Salvador) asked to see some pictures of the Camino Olvidado. So, be careful what you wish for, because here they are, all 455 of them!

https://picasaweb.google.com/104105...do?authkey=Gv1sRgCP7ajL249_qj4AE&noredirect=1#

Actually this link has pictures from my entire Camino this year, which included:
Bilbao to Ponferrada on the Olvidado
Ponferrada circle to Penalba de Santiago
Ponferrada to Santiago on the Frances
To Muxia and Finisterre

buen camino, Laurie
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
My walking partner, who had to stop in Aguilar, returned to Aguilar a few weeks ago to finish up her Camino Olvidado into Ponferrada. That means we will soon have our little guide in English ready for anyone else interested in this route.

And she also reminded me that there is another part of the Camino Olvidado that we have not yet explored. Look at this map, http://trapote.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/camino-olvidado-o-viejo.jpg

We walked from Bilbao. But the map shows that the main route starts in Urdazubi, in the Basque Country a few days north of Pamplona, and continues more or less parallel and north of the Frances till it joins with the Frances a few kms west of Ponferrada.

True Olvidado aficionados claim that this route pre-dates the Frances and was in fact the most heavily travelled route to Santiago until the Codex pushed everyone south to the Frances. Given the numbers on the Frances, it doesn't seem unreasonable to expect that there would be a rebirth of this alternative!
 
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peregrina2000

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Staff member
And I wanted to add that I have somehow, miraculously, been able to load the GPS tracks I recorded while walking alone. So, the stages from Cervera to Ponferrada are thre, as are the tracks I recorded while walking the three day circle with Rebekah from Ponferrada. They are on wikiloc.com under my name peregrina2000.

Not sure I am really sold on this gps thing, but I was glad to have it at one or two crucial points this past summer. Laurie
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Ha, not so sure about that, Reb, but I do love the Camino in all its iterations! BTW, just thought I'd say that the GPS trails for all of the Camino Olvidado, as walked by me and Susanna, are now on wikiloc.com. Some under my name, peregrina2000, and some under her name, caminosusanna. One more thing left to do, and that's the guide. We hope to have that ready by the end of the year at the latest. I will post about it here when it's ready.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
This Camino is truly unknown to most people, even to most Camino addicts. So its name (forgotten in English) is appropriate. This Camino leaves from Bilbao and heads southwest to Ponferrada, approximately 500 km. It has several wonderful days of mountain walking, a day or two with gorgeous mountain views in the distance, and many Roman, megalithic, romanesque, and gothic monuments. There are gps tracks for the first 7 days, which are available for download on caminosusanna´s trails posted on wikiloc.com. The rest of the stages will be available in the fall, when Susanna returns from walking the rest of the Olvidado. We will also have an English language guide at some point in the not too distant future.

In general, I would say that the Camino Olvidado is very well marked, and that a gps is only really helpful in a few situations, but having it really saved us from some major mistakes when the marking got bad. Our guide will detail those spots, so that even those without a gps shouldn’t worry about striking out on this Camino. Thankfully, the two real mountain stretches (La Velilla to Cistierna and Fasgar to Colinas) are perfectly well marked and are easy to navigate alone and without a gps. The road walking is not as pronounced, at least in my memory, as on the Vadiniense, for instance. There seemed to be a lot more off-road stretches, though some road walking is always inevitable.

In terms of scenery, this is a visually pleasant camino, with a few long boring dull stretches on the side of the road. There are some interesting end-stage towns (like Balmaseda, Espinosa, and Aguilar), but not the long list of great little places to explore that I had last year on the Levante from Valencia. People were exceedingly kind and helpful, with a mayor treating me to a vino and tapas, locals giving me cherries and fresh baked goods, and many helping me find a place to stay, and even in one instance opening their home to me.

This is another one of those routes waiting for the pilgrim craze to hit. The accommodations are still a negative. The only albergues are in Cistierna and La Robla, and those albergues are there primarily for the Vadiniense (Cistierna) and the Salvador (La Robla) – it’s just that the Olvidado crosses those routes. I’ve included some info on lodging so you can see how much it’s likely to cost you to take on this route, but the bottom line is that it will be more expensive than your "average" Camino. As always I am happy to answer questions and give opinions.
very intrigued by this route! i still have a very large chunk of the vdlp to complete,possibly this year and as i will be 77 in july have promised myself to let up:) currently waiting for cataract operations and bloody arthritis has me climbing the walls! however, being of a stubborn and cunning disposition i usually get there in the end!my comfort zone is approx 20 kms per day which seems to be out of the question for this route BUT providing water is not a problem,could it be camped/tented? i have my heart set on a terra nova l/wt that i used before for distance n i have done the cf, the portuguese, and started vdlp from malaga so am not exactly a novice (plus forces experience ). I am sure you will be simpatico to an old celt who for many unfathomable reaqsons likes lonely places in Spain :)
the malingerer.
and many thanks!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, malingerer, I just can't tell you about the camping options because I don't carry a tent and don't pay attention to site availability. Water was not a problem at all for me, though I usually just carried a 1/2 -2 liters and didn't have to fill up. So I can't tell you about fountains along the way either, sorry to say. You should take a look at the guide in the resources section if you haven't already seen it, because there are ways to break up some of those long sections, but not all.

There are some really beautiful mountain stages, and it is really an off-the-beaten-track camino. Being stubborn will serve you well, but I don't you'll need to be too cunning -- :) -- people are helpful and very kind. Buen camino, Laurie
 
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Julio Santiago

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Day 10 – Guardo to La Velilla Sanctuary (25 km). After a pretty dismal start, things pick up after La Ercina, with some very nice off road paths. Pretty villages on the way up to the Sanctuary. The church is not in a town, but a few meters downhill is a nice casa rural, http://www.lavelilla.es/, 38 € including a subpar dinner and breakfast, but run by two very nice women, transplants from Madrid. Lots of beautiful afternoon walking in the area made this a very special day. You could add on the 15 km into Cistierna, but having the afternoon free in this lovely place was a real bonus.

Day 11 – La Velilla to Cistierna (15 km). Very short day, the vast majority of it on a broad mountain path with great views. Lots of oooohs and aaaahhhs, really nice. Cistierna is not exactly a stunning place to look at, but the people are fabulous and I stayed in Hostal Moderno (25 € single), terrific menú del día there, not to be missed.

Day 12 – Cistierna to Boñar (26 km). Nothing difficult about this day, generally great marking, some nice off road tracks. Not much in the way of elevation or views. Seemed to be in transition from the Picos mountains behind me, and the mountains a few days ahead. Hostal Inés (20 € pilgrim price, but you may have to ask). Nice old bridge about a km out of town. Great picnic spot, and if you´re lucky like I was, a friend may appear out of nowhere with a picnic basket for a nice few hours of relaxing!

Day 13 – Boñar to La Robla (33 km). Many kms were alongside the road, lots of coal operations going on, some nice off-road paths. Good marking the whole way. The last 7 km into La Robla are on a very nice trail, which takes you to one of the road entrances and you easily find your way to the center. Pilgrim albergue, very nice.

Day 14 – La Robla to Pandorado (35 km). Another day with a lot of road walking, some of it not so stunning. Well marked, except for one spot on the last few kms, where you ascend to Pandorado. Only accommodation option here is Casa Resthy, 60 € for the apt., whether you are 1, 2, or 3 people.

Day 15 – Pandorado to Fasgar (27 km). Big improvement over the day before, lots of off-road walking, some of it on green paths next to rivers and far from cars, some of it through nice little towns with friendly residents. Fasgar is at the end of the road, and from here to the next town it´s either 75 km by car or 15 km over the mountain. Several people in Fasgar are very eager to help pilgrims find a place to sleep, so you shouldn´t worry that there´s no hostal or albergue. This is a beautiful mountain town, I spent a wonderful afternoon with a family who lives there year round (3 of the town´s total 8 year round residents) and came away with a lot of admiration for this nearly self-sufficient, off the grid family.

Day 16 – Fasgar to Quintana de los Fuseros (28 km). Wonderful day. The first 15 km to Campo de Colinas are well marked, all off road through the mountain, through the Campo de Santiago (site of the battle between Moors and Christians where Santiago made a guest appearance and helped to defeat the Moors). All perfectly well marked, and the last 6 or 7 kms go through green tunnels and holm oak alongside the river. From Campo de Colinas to Igüeña is a wide dirt biking path, mostly along the river, too. From Igüeña to Quintana, after a km on the road leaving Iguëña, there are 7 or so km on a logging road, through fields and up the monte, and you get your first views of the beautiful Bierzo region. All in all a perfect day. Casa Rural el Caruzal (very nice owner, kind to pilgrims, 20€ for use of a bedroom and the rest of the huge casa rural. I was also told, however, that if you ask in one of the town´s two bars, there are other options available).

Day 17 – Quintana de los Fuseros to Congosto. (28 km). Very pleasant day, lots of off road walking, nothing stunning, nothing awful, pretty flat, no problems with marking. In Congosto there are two casas rurales, both of which will open up for pilgrims. Particularly accommodating was the owner of CR Alvaro de Mendaña, who was out of town, but went to great lengths to arrange for someone to meet me at the house and let me in. Good meal in the mesón across the street, several nice bars.

Day 18 – Congosto to Columbrianos and then into Ponferrada (19 km). Fair amount of road walking to the dam at the foot of the reservoir, then off road through small towns (one problem spot with markings but the guide will clear it up), and finally into Columbrianos where you merge with the Camino Francés.

Buen camino, Laurie

Hello Laurie, I have just found your narration, I am so grateful and it is so appealing that that I will probably walk this route next year, coming from Burgos/Alicante (La Lana). Now I have to rush to work, but I am eagger to resume enjoying your text this evening after work.
Grateful and Kind Regards
Julio Santiago
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
Forgive the overly enthusiastic attention to Romanesque churches, but they are a particular love of mine! https://plus.google.com/photos/104105778729242194944/albums/6041625753936022753?banner=pwa&authkey=CP7ajL249_qj4AE Buen camino, Laurie
Will you please STOP finding any more caminos.
I thought this May's would be my final one. Now am planning the Primitivo for next May: that was going to be my last one.
Now you've shown me the Olvidado for 2017. That will definitely be my last one :rolleyes:.
And don't apologise for the lovely church pictures. I am just the same.
I've been told off for too many pictures of: churches, wayside crosses, food and wild flowers!!!!!
Blessings, dear Laurie ......
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
see signature
after all those years, I finally managed to upload my photos from my 2012 route. quite a lot are from viejo camino and camino olvidado, and there are also short notes that might be useful.

http://caminka.eu.pn/camino2012-3.html#pamplona

the accommodation list on my site has been updated when I got back (at the end of 2012), but it is probably a bit outdated now.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
after all those years, I finally managed to upload my photos from my 2012 route. quite a lot are from viejo camino and camino olvidado, and there are also short notes that might be useful.

http://caminka.eu.pn/camino2012-3.html#pamplona

the accommodation list on my site has been updated when I got back (at the end of 2012), but it is probably a bit outdated now.


Wow, the illustrious caminka is back! Great pictures. Susanna and I relied heavily on your comments from 2012 when we walked in 2013. One big change is that you can now sleep in Fasgar. It was wonderful, Rosi and her husband are very generous. I coincided with their daughter's 4 year birthday celebration. There were 15 or so people in the town bar, one was 8 years old and the closest Candela has to a playmate in Fasgar, and the rest were over 65 (so I fit right in:)). My stay in Fasgar was one of the most wonderful of any Camino, I will never forget it and would dearly love to return.

Any new caminos planned, Caminka?
 
J

Julio Santiago

Guest
after all those years, I finally managed to upload my photos from my 2012 route. quite a lot are from viejo camino and camino olvidado, and there are also short notes that might be useful.

http://caminka.eu.pn/camino2012-3.html#pamplona

the accommodation list on my site has been updated when I got back (at the end of 2012), but it is probably a bit outdated now.
Good early morning Amiga del Camino,
Just a couple of days ago I was thinking to have a survey of the latest news related to my upcoming 2016 Camino, especially because will be walking alternative and desert routes; and I received alert from this site on new information posted on the Camino Viejo very quiet thread!
I have defined and planned my Camino 2016, in particular will encompass a large portion of your experience in the Camino Viejo/Olvidado. I have been compiling your kindly provided and the best all-round notes for accommodation in the Olvidado, this huge Excel table (dated November 2012) you designed with plenty of your experience and trusted source information.

I would like to be asking around if any substantial recent change somewhere, as accommodation is tight along my forthcoming 2016 route and I will certainly have to sleep under a sky full of stars probably more than once! A new experience in my Camino! I love more and more the less travelled routes...

Just in case, and because Laurie is extremely well aware of everything related to our beloved Caminos, here are my way-points for my 2016 route (starting 6 June 2016, must be at Santiago 5 July 2016 as I fly back to UK where I live and work). Camino 2016 (total 1139 km):
Ruta de la Lana section (529 km):
Jalance
, the land of my ancestors (Provincia de Valencia, somewhere between Almansa and Requena), Casas-Ibáñez, Graja de Iniesta, Monteagudo de las Salinas, Cuenca, Albalate de las Noqueras, Salmerón, Cifuentes, Huérmeces del Cerro, Retortillo de Soria, San Esteban de Gormaz, Huerta de Rey, Covarrubias, Catedral de Burgos
Camino Olvidado section (358 km):
Catedral de Burgos, Urbel del Castillo, Aguilar de Campoó, Castrejon de la Peña, San Martin de Valdetuéjar, Boñar, Otero de las Dueñas, Fasgar, Labaniego, Ponferrada
Camino de Invierno section (252 km):
Ponferrada, O Barco, Quiroga, Castrotañe, Rodeiro, Silleda, Santiago

I will be walking aided with:
Camino de la Lana: guides grabbed on www.dealbaceteasantiago.es
Camino Viejo: your November 2012 Camino Viejo accommodation notes
Camino Olvidado: Laurie's outstanding October 2014 Camino Olvidado guide
Camino de Invierno: Laurie's January 2016 Camino de Invierno guide.

Gracias Amiga del Camino, I wish you Grace and Happiness in your home,
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Good early morning Amiga del Camino,
Just a couple of days ago I was thinking to have a survey of the latest news related to my upcoming 2016 Camino, especially because will be walking alternative and desert routes; and I received alert from this site on new information posted on the Camino Viejo very quiet thread!
I have defined and planned my Camino 2016, in particular will encompass a large portion of your experience in the Camino Viejo/Olvidado. I have been compiling your kindly provided and the best all-round notes for accommodation in the Olvidado, this huge Excel table (dated November 2012) you designed with plenty of your experience and trusted source information.

I would like to be asking around if any substantial recent change somewhere, as accommodation is tight along my forthcoming 2016 route and I will certainly have to sleep under a sky full of stars probably more than once! A new experience in my Camino! I love more and more the less travelled routes...

Just in case, and because Laurie is extremely well aware of everything related to our beloved Caminos, here are my way-points for my 2016 route (starting 6 June 2016, must be at Santiago 5 July 2016 as I fly back to UK where I live and work). Camino 2016 (total 1139 km):
Ruta de la Lana section (529 km):
Jalance
, the land of my ancestors (Provincia de Valencia, somewhere between Almansa and Requena), Casas-Ibáñez, Graja de Iniesta, Monteagudo de las Salinas, Cuenca, Albalate de las Noqueras, Salmerón, Cifuentes, Huérmeces del Cerro, Retortillo de Soria, San Esteban de Gormaz, Huerta de Rey, Covarrubias, Catedral de Burgos
Camino Olvidado section (358 km):
Catedral de Burgos, Urbel del Castillo, Aguilar de Campoó, Castrejon de la Peña, San Martin de Valdetuéjar, Boñar, Otero de las Dueñas, Fasgar, Labaniego, Ponferrada
Camino de Invierno section (252 km):
Ponferrada, O Barco, Quiroga, Castrotañe, Rodeiro, Silleda, Santiago

I will be walking aided with:
Camino de la Lana: guides grabbed on www.dealbaceteasantiago.es
Camino Viejo: your November 2012 Camino Viejo accommodation notes
Camino Olvidado: Laurie's outstanding October 2014 Camino Olvidado guide
Camino de Invierno: Laurie's January 2016 Camino de Invierno guide.

Gracias Amiga del Camino, I wish you Grace and Happiness in your home,

Julio that sounds like an absolutely amazing camino, at quite a pace --your physical fitness must put you a few grades above the average mere mortal. We should keep in touch, because my flight out of Santiago is July 7, so there is a chance I would be there before you left. Is your flight on the 5th? Buen camino, Laurie
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
see signature
oh, wow, I never thought my notes/guide would prove that useful. I am glad! sleeping in Fasgar is great news, that was one of the few things I regretted not being able to do.

this year (hopefully!) I am planning to walk from Lyon in France on Podiensis then on Norte and Primitivo, hence the accommodation lists. but first I must finish my studies (and then get the reward :)).

julio, I don't think that on olvidado and infierno there is need to sleep outside. but on olvidado it is highly recommended to call ahead or to ask nice ladies in tourist offices to do so for you. for invierno the best address is perhaps to contact directly Asunción that runs albergue Casa da Solaina in A Rúa/Fontei. she was (still is?) the president of it and a great supporter.
 
J

Julio Santiago

Guest
oh, wow, I never thought my notes/guide would prove that useful. I am glad! sleeping in Fasgar is great news, that was one of the few things I regretted not being able to do.

this year (hopefully!) I am planning to walk from Lyon in France on Podiensis then on Norte and Primitivo, hence the accommodation lists. but first I must finish my studies (and then get the reward :)).

julio, I don't think that on olvidado and infierno there is need to sleep outside. but on olvidado it is highly recommended to call ahead or to ask nice ladies in tourist offices to do so for you. for invierno the best address is perhaps to contact directly Asunción that runs albergue Casa da Solaina in A Rúa/Fontei. she was (still is?) the president of it and a great supporter.
Good morning Caminka, you made an interesting laps-us: instead of "invierno", you wrote "infierno" that means hell ! Thanks you very much for the indication of a supporter contact in A Rúa. Be careful with words as people google-ing BDSM keywords could well land in our forum!

I think I will have to sleep outdoors in la Lana, extremely lonely path... The geomaps are scaring me, long stretches with nothing at 360 degrees...

All the best,
Julio Santiago
 
J

Julio Santiago

Guest
Julio that sounds like an absolutely amazing camino, at quite a pace --your physical fitness must put you a few grades above the average mere mortal. We should keep in touch, because my flight out of Santiago is July 7, so there is a chance I would be there before you left. Is your flight on the 5th? Buen camino, Laurie
Good early afternoon Laurie,
my lunch break is for visiting el Camino digital!
I will be in Santiago on the 5th July 2016, I am flying back to UK the day after that is 6th July 2016, and back to work next day!
I'll be pleased to keep in touch with you during my 2016 Camino; I anticipate it will be particularly tough, this one, and perhaps could be useful to know that I can contact una Amiga del Camino should I need it. And of course in Santiago to meet you in person and have a Camino conversation...
Good pace, yes, more or less 40km a day, this was already the case last year (Levante+Sanabres in 26 days) and in 2013 on la Plata from Sevilla in 25 days... I am not particularly fit, but I do not know why, on the Camino, mi Apostol just lifts me up! And I have a special determination when walking on these millenia paths...
Hasta pronto Amiga del Camino,
 
C

Castilian

Guest
I think I will have to sleep outdoors in la Lana, extremely lonely path...

I don't think so. If you plan it in advance and if you are able to make (some) stages of roughly 40 kms, you shouldn't have to sleep outdoors (unless you planned to sleep on a town with just one accommodation and it happened to be full on your travel date).
 
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caminka

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
see signature
oh, I really did those typos, didn't I. perhaps I can excuse mayself by saing that half of my mind is on my thesis and the other half is wrestling with it for the camino space? :)

I can upload a file now, but I still don't know how to do the quotes.
 
Last edited:

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Good luck on that thesis, Caminka...and Buen Camino when you finally return.
A lovely carrot, indeed.
Thanks for your 2012 notes...see what comes form a small seed?
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
see signature
thank you, Viranani! the thesis is almost done. now for the last exam...
you mean, more like an obsession? :) writing this 'guides' for me is almost half the journey.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Urg. Remembering--the nerves, especially. You'll do fine and then it's done...and then...
Well, obsession would be only slightly too strong a word. Speaking for myself.
I hope you have a wonderful walk from Lyon! It sounds fantastic.
 

Michael Garver

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Future- I am preparing
This Camino is truly unknown to most people, even to most Camino addicts. So its name (forgotten in English) is appropriate. This Camino leaves from Bilbao and heads southwest to Ponferrada, approximately 500 km. It has several wonderful days of mountain walking, a day or two with gorgeous mountain views in the distance, and many Roman, megalithic, romanesque, and gothic monuments. There are gps tracks for the first 7 days, which are available for download on caminosusanna´s trails posted on wikiloc.com. The rest of the stages will be available in the fall, when Susanna returns from walking the rest of the Olvidado. We will also have an English language guide at some point in the not too distant future.

In general, I would say that the Camino Olvidado is very well marked, and that a gps is only really helpful in a few situations, but having it really saved us from some major mistakes when the marking got bad. Our guide will detail those spots, so that even those without a gps shouldn’t worry about striking out on this Camino. Thankfully, the two real mountain stretches (La Velilla to Cistierna and Fasgar to Colinas) are perfectly well marked and are easy to navigate alone and without a gps. The road walking is not as pronounced, at least in my memory, as on the Vadiniense, for instance. There seemed to be a lot more off-road stretches, though some road walking is always inevitable.

In terms of scenery, this is a visually pleasant camino, with a few long boring dull stretches on the side of the road. There are some interesting end-stage towns (like Balmaseda, Espinosa, and Aguilar), but not the long list of great little places to explore that I had last year on the Levante from Valencia. People were exceedingly kind and helpful, with a mayor treating me to a vino and tapas, locals giving me cherries and fresh baked goods, and many helping me find a place to stay, and even in one instance opening their home to me.

This is another one of those routes waiting for the pilgrim craze to hit. The accommodations are still a negative. The only albergues are in Cistierna and La Robla, and those albergues are there primarily for the Vadiniense (Cistierna) and the Salvador (La Robla) – it’s just that the Olvidado crosses those routes. I’ve included some info on lodging so you can see how much it’s likely to cost you to take on this route, but the bottom line is that it will be more expensive than your "average" Camino. As always I am happy to answer questions and give opinions.
As the Camino Frances becomes more crowded and commercialized, I had almost given up on a pilgrimage to Spain. I am looking for the " road less traveled " for solace and inner growth" . I am considering a trip in April 2017 and looking to experience something unique. I don't need a certificate to prove I did it. What options do I have in Spain? I would not be opposed to going with a small group. I am training now. The hiking in my native Montana would acclimate me.

Thanks

Michael
 
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C

Castilian

Guest
I am looking for the " road less traveled " for solace and inner growth" . I am considering a trip in April 2017 and looking to experience something unique. I don't need a certificate to prove I did it. What options do I have in Spain?

Did you see my reply on the pilgrim statistics thread?
I quoted there several options although, of course, it all depends on what are you looking for other than solitude. For example, Are you fine with accomodation other than albergues? Do you want just (well) signposted routes? Do you want to end in Santiago de Compostela or are you fine ending somewhere else? Those questions (and others) would narrow down the list of options.
 

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