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LIVE from the Camino On to the Camino Torres

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alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Most people taking the Vía de la Plata carry on from Salamanca northwards to Zamora (lovely Zamora). A small number (vanishingly small, as I soon discovered) turn left onto the Camino Torres. This is named after Don Diego de Torres Villarroel, a maths professor at Salamanca University who, in 1737, went to Santiago via Ciudad Rodrigo and Portugal rather than the usual (much shorter) Plata and Francés or Sanabrés. He left an extensive account of his journey, and some doggerel about most of the places he stopped at.

Day 1: Salamanca to La Rad, c17km

The official guide suggests going straight to Robliza de Cojos, about 33km, but there is a service station at the urbanización of Rad which lets you enjoy the morning in beautiful Salamanca. The hotel is fine (30€), the bar/restaurant is grim, empty and quite expensive. The walk from Salamanca is pleasant enough: you cross the Tormes by Trajan's bridge, quickly leave the Plata and join the Cañada Real de Extremadura, which will, mostly, take you all the way to Ciudad Rodrigo, almost entirely off tarmac. For about 10km you have fine views back on to the twin cathedrals. Then it's mostly prairie, mostly within earshot of the motorway to Portugal.

Day 2: La Rad to Robliza de Cojos, c21km

La Rad's bar lived down to expectations at breakfast, with ok coffee but a croissant so old and stale it should have been in a museum. Then a pleasantly undulating day, moving out of earshot of the motorway, through mixed prairie, cereal and dehesa. Robliza de Cojos is tiny and its bar is shut on Thursdays (the day I was there). The albergue is in the old school just by the church. It has a room with two beds, and I think they can get some mattresses into the schoolroom/polling station if more people arrive. There are three loos but no shower or hot water. 1.5km north, there is a service station with showers (2.5€) and an excellent restaurant with plate glass windows giving 180° views of the campo. It was bustling with people, and the contrast with La Rad was extreme - obviously, anybody with the choice would eat a good meal at a reasonable price at Robliza, rather than a bad one at a high price at La Rad. According to the visitors' book, 16 people have stayed in Robliza's albergue this year.

Day 3, Robliza de Cojos to San Muñoz, c20km

No breakfast for the first time since leaving the Mediterranean. There are no settlements between the two, and no water. Another pleasant day ambling mostly through dehesa and cereal. The only person I saw was an elderly shepherd with 200+ sheep and their bells making my favourite music. He told me I was going the wrong way (there are signs for a camino leading back to Salamanca). It was not easy explaining in bad Spanish to a monosyllabic pastor about a nutty 18th century professor and why I was following his tortuous route the other way. San Muñoz has an outstanding albergue next to the medical centre on the edge of the village. Tomás, the hospitalero, collected me from the bar and walked me to it. It has three bedrooms with three beds each, lots of blankets, a fully equipped kitchen (gas cooker, pots and pans etc), a loo with shower and hot water, a pleasant sitting room and a sunny yard for drying clothes. Donativo. Hugely helpful Tomás was off the following morning with the Salamanca amigos to take a bus to Toledo and do a few days of the Levante. There is a well stocked tienda in the village, where I bought myself some stuff to cook for supper.
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
I am very grateful for your post and I hope that I will be able to follow your path to Santiago (or wherever you decide to end). Camino Torres is my desire for the next Camino, but I thought there was little information. I love to go alone (63 years old) and every information is very valuable to me. I hope for a guide in a month or two :)
Thank you very much and BUEN CAMINO
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Day 4: San Muñoz to Alba de Yeltes, c26km

No breakfast again, but I'd stocked up at the tienda with a couple of madaleinas and some tangerines, so at least not an empty stomach. No other settlements or drinkable water between the two. Didn't see a single person either, I just had the regular company of a hen harrier. Shady for much of the day, with long green tunnels going through evergreen oak, with sweet smelling dried cistus and rosemary. And then suddenly the view would open up and you can see the Sierra de Gata frowning down on you from the distance. Just beautiful.

The albergue in Alba de Yeltes is another old school, with six beds, loo, shower and plenty of hot water (donativo). Aurora Martín is the very kind and helpful hospitalera. She has taken over from her husband, Jacinto, the founding hospitalero here who sadly died earlier this year, and whose "sin dolor no hay gloria" t-shirt is displayed together with his motto "arriba, adelante, siempre adelante". The village bar did me a filling meal. It's shut on Mondays, which might be a problem as the albergue has a microwave but no eating equipment. I was the 21st person in the albergue this year, the extra number being down to bicigrinos who arrived here straight from Salamanca.

Normally there are several streams between San Muñoz and Alba de Y, which can mean needing to detour off the Cañada Real, but all except one was dried up, and that wasn't even ankle deep.
 

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pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018
Thank you, alansykes, for the detailed description of the camino. It brings it all back! Will you post it to the "usal" website for their relatos section when you have finished? I think it would encourage people who are researching this camino.

And hi, m108! And Magwood too! I walked this camino this year in June and if I could do it at 77 you can do it too. Somewhere under the headline Torres I posted the pdf of the GPS tracks someone had prepared for me. And if you are interested in the sweaty nitty gritty day-to-day of it here is my blog (which is also mentioned in the relatos of the "usal" webwite: inaoncaminotorres.blogspot.fr
 
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m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
Hi, @pelerine
thanks, thanks, thanks !!!!! I think the decision has fallen. From now on, I look forward to Camino Torres, probably next September. I did not walk this year, there was no real "call", now I definitely feel it :)
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
thank you for the encouragement @pelerine. I have already started reading your blog. I am hoping to walk with a Portuguese pilgrim next spring, so with your helpful information and the safety net of someone who can communicate easily, what can go wrong?
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018
I am pleased if I can be of use for your planning. I did not walk alone all of the Camino Torres/Portugues; only the first two weeks of a total of four. From Lamego to Santiago one of my daughters walked with me to celebrate her 50th anniversary. Also a very good experience. The Torres has become "my baby" in a way. I recommend it a lot. If it were walked by more people more albergues would be set up I feel sure.

Buen Camino or Bom Caminho to both of you, m108 and Magwood (have found your blogs and started reading!), and keep us posted when you go on your walk!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Day 5: Alba de Yeltes to Ciudad Rodrigo, c26km

Another 5 star day. The first 8km are flat beside a local road, but off tarmac. At Bocacara there are a couple of bars but neither was open at 9.30am on Sunday, so another morning with no coffee. So it goes. After Bocacara you go up through a forest of cork oaks, with occasional fabulous views back on to the squat grandeur of the Peña de Francia, and what sometimes looked liked most of the Sistema Central. Then over the brow and the first views down onto Ciudad Rodrigo, a bit like the first view of Salamanca from the Plata. And the town itself is not unlike a Salamanca in miniature, the sort of place where the unemployment office is a renaissance palace.

As a lover of Spain's quirkier museums, one of my big disappointments on the Norte was finding the Centro del Calamar Gigante closed when I went through Luarca. So I was determined to visit Ciudad Rodrigo's Museo del Orinal, nearly 2000 commodes, bedpans and pisspots from 27 countries dating back over 1000 years. 2€ very well spent.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Day 6: Ciudad Rodrigo to Gallegos de Argañan, c17km

A short day, almost totally without shade. Many good views back to CR, and "my" hen harrier was with for much of the day. At Gallegos de A, they rang the deputy mayor from the taberna. He arrived 10 minutes later, swallowed a shot of orujo and showed me the albergue before stamping my credential in the town hall. The albergue is basic but fine - a few mattresses on the floor, a loo and a shower without hot water. The taberna does simple meals. There is an austere church of Santiago.
 

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
Hi Alan.
I’m going to use your posts as my guide next year, so please excuse this question, accommodation in C Rodrigo?
Regards
George
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018
If this is of any use to you, I stayed in Hostal Plaza, Calle Sanchez Arjona, right next to the Plaza Mayor. Can't remember the price, simple but not expensive.
Buen planning and buen camino!
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
I also already copy and paste into the Word document every post - it will be a guide. However, I hope that after returning, @alansykes will write a "real" guide ;)
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018
On another thread the site of the University of Salamanca (usal) was mentioned. The alumni of this university were the ones who originally researched the way Torres walked to Santiago and established this camino as well as possible. On this site you find a complete guide in Spanish which may be difficult for you to follow, but you also find wikiloc maps for each of the 23 stages they divided the camino into, and topo-profiles plus GPS tracks. Since I could not handle those tracks, a Spanish fellow pilgrim from a previous camino sent them to me as pdf files which another friend here at home loaded into the GPX Viewer app. And then it was a piece of cake to handle. The University of Salamanca site is: caminosantiago.usal.es/torres/.

Buen Camino!

The GPS tracks are as follows:
 

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alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Hi Alan.
I’m going to use your posts as my guide next year, so please excuse this question, accommodation in C Rodrigo?
Regards
George
I followed @ConnachtRambler to the Hotel Arcos, a block away from @pelerine 's Plaza. Also very pleasant, 35€, almost opposite the cathedral. Their 5€ breakfast buffet is almost parador standard. There is also the (private) albergue la Concha, just outside the city walls, 15€. And indeed the parador (where Wellington (soon to be Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo) stayed in 1812 after the siege) often has good deals off season - I was tempted by an offer of 2 nights for 110€ but wasn't sure of my dates at the time, and by the time I was sure it had gone up to 180€ again.

Day 7: Gallegos de Argañan to Almeida, c26km.

An easy few hours takes you to Aldea del Obispo, a pretty village where I had my last Spanish coffee and first Portuguese beer. Shortly after you cross into Portugal. My telephone made more fuss about the border than it did, pinging every few minutes as Vodaphone PT slogged it out with Vodaphone ES. At the border village of Val de Lamule I made my first mistake in Portuguese, saying "boa tarde" to somebody when it should have been "bom dia" as I hadn't put my watch back at the border and it was still morning.

By 2.30pm (Portuguese time) I was safely installed in a restaurant in Almeida eating my first almejas. Yum. Almeida is a handsome walled fortress town bashed about a bit by French and British troops in the Peninsula War. I stayed in the Casa Morgado, just outside the walls. It was fine, 25€. The similar looking Muralha opposite seemed to have a nicer restaurant, but. I ate in town.
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018
I stayed in Casa Morgado and ate in the Muralha. As I wanted to leave before the official breakfast hour, the kind gentleman at the reception explained the kitchen to me; so I crept down the stairs in the morning and helped myself.

Funny to be following you, Alan, going the way I went such a short time ago. Surely not as hot as it was when I went - 37 degrees! So I used my umbrella/parasol a lot!

Thanks for keeping us updated and bom caminho!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Day 8: Almeida to Pinhel, c22km

First full day in Portugal. Started going steadily downhill to the old bridge over the Côa. The scene of a vicious skirmish, where "Black Bob" Crauford and the Light Division held Ney's advance, buying Wellington time to complete the defences at Torres Vedras, so perhaps saving Lisbon. Apparently the narrow bridge was blocked with the bodies of British troops, further delaying Ney's progress, while the river ran red with blood. Hard to imagine in the peaceful valley.

Then uphill and on to an empty scrubland with sculptural rocks. By 2pm I was the last person in to an excellent lunch at the restaurant next to the tourist office, with a glass of the tasty fruity Pinhel white. The castle above looks out over the plain.

Most people on the Torres seem to check in to the Skylab, but I chose the residential Falcâo, as it was nearly a km closer to Trancoso on the way out of town. 17.5€ en suite, perfectly ok, with a nice balcony facing south to dry the clothes.
 

Donovan

Active Member
Alan, this is great information, keep it coming please. With my limited techno-skills I am building a spreadsheet of accommodation along the route. The lists in the USAL guide are OK as far as Trancoso, but limited thereafter. I’ll add any info you post to the details I’ve downloaded from USAL, Pelerin and others.

Is it still your intention to head north from Regua?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Alan, this is great information, keep it coming please. With my limited techno-skills I am building a spreadsheet of accommodation along the route. The lists in the USAL guide are OK as far as Trancoso, but limited thereafter. I’ll add any info you post to the details I’ve downloaded from USAL, Pelerin and others.

Is it still your intention to head north from Regua?
Looks like we have the seeds of a forum guide to the Camino de Torres! I am happy to help in any way I can. Hoping to be there within the next few years.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Is it still your intention to head north from Regua?
Yup, hoping to. Haven't seen Verín since my first camino.

Day 9: Pinhel to Trancoso, c31km

Another day of d'un château l'autre. Trancoso's dominates a ridge and is visible from miles around. It's one of those ones that plays the slightly irritating trick of looking quite close when you first see it early in the morning, then exactly the same distance away 5 hours later.

At 7am I was in a nice pastelaria in Pinhel having a good breakfast, and two hours later in a café at a petrol station outside Valbom having coffee. That's it as far as food for the next 25km. Glorious mixed countryside, with the vines covered in their autumn splendour - every shade of leaf from pure gold to almost black red. And chestnuts, and oak groves, and fruit trees, with the hedgerows dripping with ripe apples, pears and quinces, and a stream for company for a couple of km. Also, sadly, an hour through blackened countryside which must have been the victim of one of the fires earlier in the year.

There's a reasonably sharp ascent up to Trancoso's forbidding castle at the end of the day, but you're rewarded with spectacular views back towards Spain when you get there. As well as the castle, Trancoso has almost intact walls surrounding the town centre, and some important Jewish remnants. I stayed in the residential Denis, 100 yards from the town walls, very pleasant, 20€ en suite. At the recommendation of somebody I met outside the walls, I ate in the Bandarra restaurant opposite the market, where I had the best fish stew I've eaten outside of France, and also tried the local speciality of sardinhas doces. Yum. The restaurant owner has rung the chief fireman of Sernancelhe to make sure I have a bed for tomorrow (there is no other accommodation there). At least I think that's what he said he was doing, but only understanding about a third of what's said means I can't be sure.
 

Portach

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
Most people taking the Vía de la Plata carry on from Salamanca northwards to Zamora (lovely Zamora). A small number (vanishingly small, as I soon discovered) turn left onto the Camino Torres. This is named after Don Diego de Torres Villarroel, a maths professor at Salamanca University who, in 1737, went to Santiago via Ciudad Rodrigo and Portugal rather than the usual (much shorter) Plata and Francés or Sanabrés. He left an extensive account of his journey, and some doggerel about most of the places he stopped at.

Day 1: Salamanca to La Rad, c17km

The official guide suggests going straight to Robliza de Cojos, about 33km, but there is a service station at the urbanización of Rad which lets you enjoy the morning in beautiful Salamanca. The hotel is fine (30€), the bar/restaurant is grim, empty and quite expensive. The walk from Salamanca is pleasant enough: you cross the Tormes by Trajan's bridge, quickly leave the Plata and join the Cañada Real de Extremadura, which will, mostly, take you all the way to Ciudad Rodrigo, almost entirely off tarmac. For about 10km you have fine views back on to the twin cathedrals. Then it's mostly prairie, mostly within earshot of the motorway to Portugal.

Day 2: La Rad to Robliza de Cojos, c21km

La Rad's bar lived down to expectations at breakfast, with ok coffee but a croissant so old and stale it should have been in a museum. Then a pleasantly undulating day, moving out of earshot of the motorway, through mixed prairie, cereal and dehesa. Robliza de Cojos is tiny and its bar is shut on Thursdays (the day I was there). The albergue is in the old school just by the church. It has a room with two beds, and I think they can get some mattresses into the schoolroom/polling station if more people arrive. There are three loos but no shower or hot water. 1.5km north, there is a service station with showers (2.5€) and an excellent restaurant with plate glass windows giving 180° views of the campo. It was bustling with people, and the contrast with La Rad was extreme - obviously, anybody with the choice would eat a good meal at a reasonable price at Robliza, rather than a bad one at a high price at La Rad. According to the visitors' book, 16 people have stayed in Robliza's albergue this year.

Day 3, Robliza de Cojos to San Muñoz, c20km

No breakfast for the first time since leaving the Mediterranean. There are no settlements between the two, and no water. Another pleasant day ambling mostly through dehesa and cereal. The only person I saw was an elderly shepherd with 200+ sheep and their bells making my favourite music. He told me I was going the wrong way (there are signs for a camino leading back to Salamanca). It was not easy explaining in bad Spanish to a monosyllabic pastor about a nutty 18th century professor and why I was following his tortuous route the other way. San Muñoz has an outstanding albergue next to the medical centre on the edge of the village. Tomás, the hospitalero, collected me from the bar and walked me to it. It has three bedrooms with three beds each, lots of blankets, a fully equipped kitchen (gas cooker, pots and pans etc), a loo with shower and hot water, a pleasant sitting room and a sunny yard for drying clothes. Donativo. Hugely helpful Tomás was off the following morning with the Salamanca amigos to take a bus to Toledo and do a few days of the Levante. There is a well stocked tienda in the village, where I bought myself some stuff to cook for supper.
This is amazing, I love your post. I walked to Salamanca from Seville with my husband in Sep/Oct and we are planning our next walk for April/May. Had the Sanabres in mind but I think you may have converted me to the Torres.
Happy walking!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Day 10: Trancos to Sernancelhe, c28km

First sad few hours across the uplands that had been devastated by fire last month. Later learned that some 600+ year old trees had been burned. Heartbreaking. A bar in Ponte do Abade at 20km, otherwise just a couple of hamlets. Sernancelhe doesn't show itself until a km or two out, u til then you're shielded by beautiful thick chestnut woods. The little town has a fine 12th C church of John the Baptist, and an amazing new firestation, €5m at least, in one of the firefighters' domitories pilgrims can sleep. Very comfortable.
 

Donovan

Active Member
Alan, given that there is only the one place to stay in Sernancelhe, and that backup accommodation is a reasonable distance away, it's a good idea to follow your lead at phone ahead to confirm a bed is available. Did you get a phone number by any chance? Did you get the impression that accommodation is always available for pilgrims?

Donovan
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Alan, given that there is only the one place to stay in Sernancelhe, and that backup accommodation is a reasonable distance away, it's a good idea to follow your lead at phone ahead to confirm a bed is available. Did you get a phone number by any chance? Did you get the impression that accommodation is always available for pilgrims?

Donovan
They weren't expecting me when I arrived, and the duty officer rang her boss to check it was ok for me to stay, so I don't think my kind friends in Trancoso made much difference, but it certainly can't do any harm to ring ahead: 254595455. If it's during the forest fire season, I expect the place is full of firefighters and you won't be able to stay. In which case Ponte do Abade, 6km earlier, had a sign saying "dormidas", just past the bridge. It looked a bit grim, but better than the stars, I assume.

Sernancelhe to Moimenta da Beira, c 20km.

Quite a lot of tarmac, but a good day. No bars were open early on a Sunday, so I didn't get my coffee until about 10km in. The Torres wikiloc tracks don't go all the way up to Nossa Senhora das Necessidades, just after Vila da Ponte, but it's worth the extra effort, at least on a perfect autumn morning like today's, to see the panoramic views from the top (including the reservoir, 20% of its normal level, apparently). Once down in the valley there is quite a lot of tarmac and then the usual climb up through fruit groves and vines and chestnuts to the day's destination. At the recommendation of the barman in A de Barros, I stayed in the Pico de Meio Dia on the Lamego end of town. Very comfortable en suite for 20€ b&b (breakfast from 7am, which is good as tomorrow is quite a long day so I need to start early, preferably with caffeine flowing).
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Moimenta da Beira to Lamego, c28km.

Another 4 star day. High cloud and a light breeze. The morning through fruit groves and pine woods, slowly moving downwards with several opportunities for coffee breaks. Then the first of the vine terraces, not long after crossing the Roman bridge at Ucahna, with its impressive mediaeval guard tower. Staying at the residential Solar de Sé, just by the cathedral. Better than fine, 24€ en suite b&b.

Lamego is a bit depressed. It must once have been thriving, with grand 18th century palaces now boarded up, and many closed shops and bars. The cathedral is partly Romanesque, but was much messed about with, and the museum shut just as I got to it (6pm). The central drag is great, a mini ramblas with four lines of trees leading towards the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora de Los Remédios, a baroque/roccoco shrine on the top of twelve double flights of stone stairs, each flight having its own fountain or sculptures or azulejos. It's a bit of a slog to the top (?687 steps), but worth it, and the floodlighting is very effective.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Lamego to Peso da Régua, c12km

My fifth crossing of the Douro on the camino. Or perhaps more accurately my first, as the others were all of the Duero in Spain. Still a great experience, wide and navigable and surrounded by vine terraces reaching up to the sky. A very different river in each place: at lovely Soria it was almost a mountain stream, swift and shallow and fast flowing, also surrounded by vines at Tordesillas, completely shrouded by thick freezing fog when I crossed at Toro, and one of the loveliest riverscapes in the world at Zamora. All worth revisiting. Stayed at the Imperío, just over the bridge by the station, excellent, 25€ b&b. Followed @gracethepilgrim 's example and spent the afternoon taking the scenic railway route up and down the river to Pocinho, utterly spectacular.

And that was the end of my Camino Torres, 2 weeks very well spent.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Lamego to Peso da Régua, c12km

My fifth crossing of the Douro on the camino. Or perhaps more accurately my first, as the others were all of the Duero in Spain. Still a great experience, wide and navigable and surrounded by vine terraces reaching up to the sky. A very different river in each place: at lovely Soria it was almost a mountain stream, swift and shallow and fast flowing, also surrounded by vines at Tordesillas, completely shrouded by thick freezing fog when I crossed at Toro, and one of the loveliest riverscapes in the world at Zamora. All worth revisiting. Stayed at the Imperío, just over the bridge by the station, excellent, 25€ b&b. Followed @gracethepilgrim 's example and spent the afternoon taking the scenic railway route up and down the river to Pocinho, utterly spectacular.

And that was the end of my Camino Torres, 2 weeks very well spent.
Ohhh, I LOVE that little chug chug train that goes from Régua up to Pocinho. I have ridden it three or four times, and it is beautiful no matter what the weather or what the season. So, Alan, this must mean that you are leaving the Torres and going on to the Caminho Portugues Interior? Hope it continues to be a wonderful walk. Keep us posted -- will you be walking through Mesao Frio? That part of the Douro is just beautiful, IMO.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Ohhh, I LOVE that little chug chug train that goes from Régua up to Pocinho. I have ridden it three or four times, and it is beautiful no matter what the weather or what the season. So, Alan, this must mean that you are leaving the Torres and going on to the Caminho Portugues Interior? Hope it continues to be a wonderful walk. Keep us posted -- will you be walking through Mesao Frio? That part of the Douro is just beautiful, IMO.
The Torres goes through Mesao Frio but the CPI heads due north up the Corgo so I'll say goodbye to the Douro
 

Tyson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk VDLP in Apr, 2016
Most people taking the Vía de la Plata carry on from Salamanca northwards to Zamora (lovely Zamora). A small number (vanishingly small, as I soon discovered) turn left onto the Camino Torres. This is named after Don Diego de Torres Villarroel, a maths professor at Salamanca University who, in 1737, went to Santiago via Ciudad Rodrigo and Portugal rather than the usual (much shorter) Plata and Francés or Sanabrés. He left an extensive account of his journey, and some doggerel about most of the places he stopped at.

Day 1: Salamanca to La Rad, c17km

The official guide suggests going straight to Robliza de Cojos, about 33km, but there is a service station at the urbanización of Rad which lets you enjoy the morning in beautiful Salamanca. The hotel is fine (30€), the bar/restaurant is grim, empty and quite expensive. The walk from Salamanca is pleasant enough: you cross the Tormes by Trajan's bridge, quickly leave the Plata and join the Cañada Real de Extremadura, which will, mostly, take you all the way to Ciudad Rodrigo, almost entirely off tarmac. For about 10km you have fine views back on to the twin cathedrals. Then it's mostly prairie, mostly within earshot of the motorway to Portugal.

Day 2: La Rad to Robliza de Cojos, c21km

La Rad's bar lived down to expectations at breakfast, with ok coffee but a croissant so old and stale it should have been in a museum. Then a pleasantly undulating day, moving out of earshot of the motorway, through mixed prairie, cereal and dehesa. Robliza de Cojos is tiny and its bar is shut on Thursdays (the day I was there). The albergue is in the old school just by the church. It has a room with two beds, and I think they can get some mattresses into the schoolroom/polling station if more people arrive. There are three loos but no shower or hot water. 1.5km north, there is a service station with showers (2.5€) and an excellent restaurant with plate glass windows giving 180° views of the campo. It was bustling with people, and the contrast with La Rad was extreme - obviously, anybody with the choice would eat a good meal at a reasonable price at Robliza, rather than a bad one at a high price at La Rad. According to the visitors' book, 16 people have stayed in Robliza's albergue this year.

Day 3, Robliza de Cojos to San Muñoz, c20km

No breakfast for the first time since leaving the Mediterranean. There are no settlements between the two, and no water. Another pleasant day ambling mostly through dehesa and cereal. The only person I saw was an elderly shepherd with 200+ sheep and their bells making my favourite music. He told me I was going the wrong way (there are signs for a camino leading back to Salamanca). It was not easy explaining in bad Spanish to a monosyllabic pastor about a nutty 18th century professor and why I was following his tortuous route the other way. San Muñoz has an outstanding albergue next to the medical centre on the edge of the village. Tomás, the hospitalero, collected me from the bar and walked me to it. It has three bedrooms with three beds each, lots of blankets, a fully equipped kitchen (gas cooker, pots and pans etc), a loo with shower and hot water, a pleasant sitting room and a sunny yard for drying clothes. Donativo. Hugely helpful Tomás was off the following morning with the Salamanca amigos to take a bus to Toledo and do a few days of the Levante. There is a well stocked tienda in the village, where I bought myself some stuff to cook for supper.

Thank you for your generous contributions on Camino Torres. If I can have a good solution for navigation, I plan to go solo. I heard arrows are fewer and may not be reliable. My plan is to carry iPhone with charger and an offline GPS app (I Heard my map a lot, will investigate). I have compass and will probable buy a paper map too.

How do you navigate and what suggests you have? I appreciate it
 

jose luis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues from Lixbon to Santiago (19/Oct/2015)
Thank you for your generous contributions on Camino Torres. If I can have a good solution for navigation, I plan to go solo. I heard arrows are fewer and may not be reliable. My plan is to carry iPhone with charger and an offline GPS app (I Heard my map a lot, will investigate). I have compass and will probable buy a paper map too.

How do you navigate and what suggests you have? I appreciate it
On another thread the site of the University of Salamanca (usal) was mentioned. The alumni of this university were the ones who originally researched the way Torres walked to Santiago and established this camino as well as possible. On this site you find a complete guide in Spanish which may be difficult for you to follow, but you also find wikiloc maps for each of the 23 stages they divided the camino into, and topo-profiles plus GPS tracks. Since I could not handle those tracks, a Spanish fellow pilgrim from a previous camino sent them to me as pdf files which another friend here at home loaded into the GPX Viewer app. And then it was a piece of cake to handle. The University of Salamanca site is: caminosantiago.usal.es/torres/.
Buen Camino!
The GPS tracks are as follows:
From Manila, Philippines
Could you please email me or post again the PDF's from Moimenta to Guimaraes and from Guimaraes to Braga, I would like to do the camino de Torres this coming March and cannot open/download the pdfs that you have posted in this forum.
my name jose luis Haurie, and please PM me. Could you also pleas elaborate on signage (yellow arrows, shells) from Moimenta to Braga.
Thank you
 
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