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Shorter stages on the Olvidado


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On the second Olvidado Zoom meeting, several forum members expressed an interest in seeing whether there was a way to keep stages on the Olvidado to around 25 km a day. I’ve spent a bit of time with the guide, and see that there will be some problem stages for those who don’t want to exceed 30 on a few rare days, but here is my best shot. Help from others who have walked would be great too.

The choice frequently is that you have to walk longer stages if you want to stay in an albergue, but if you can afford private lodging, the stages are more evenly split. See stage 17 and stage 18 below for an example. If you stick to albergues your stages will be 16 km and 27 km, but if you can stay in pensiones, your stages will be 23 km and 20 km. And stage 18 has a fair amount of elevation gain, so making it shorter is a good idea if you don’t like long stages.

In addition to Ender’s guide, I found a list from a Catalán association, which has references to more casas rurales than Ender’s guide.

1. Bilbao to Güeñes — 25 — Hotel Erreka Güeñes

2. Güeñes to Nava de Ordunte — 23 — sleep at Adolfo’s

3. Nava de Ordunte to Villasante — 28 — albergue

4. Villasante to Santelices — 26 — albergue

5. Santelices to Arija — 26 — albergue

6. Arija to Arroyo — 12 — Posada la Ladera

7. Arroyo to Olea — 20 — Casa Miguel

8. Olea to Aguilar de Campoo — 24 — hotel or pensión

9. Aguilar de Campoo to Quintanaluengos — 24 — Casa Rural la Acena 25 € Tel. 917 907 907

10. Quintanaluengos to Castrejón de la Peña — 20 — Casas Tardas, tel. 979-877-155 or 696-333-275

11. Castrejón de la Peña to Guardo — 23 — albergue

12. Guardo to Puente Almuhey — 17 — El Duende de Carricuende, 20 € for pilgrims, great apartments (albergue closed because of political dispute, so maybe it will open up soon, but the apartments are terrific). This is the road alternative to the mountain option. Forum member has walked this alternative recently and confirms that Ender has taken a lot of it off road. She said it was lovely, so you don’t have to feel bad about missing the mountain alternative through Caminayo.

*** Unfortunately, there is no way to break up the 32 kms alternative that goes through the mountains and the little town of Caminayo. But if you can swing a 27 km stage with about 600 m elevation gain, there is a place to stay in Velilla, 4.4 km beyond Guardo).

13. Puente Almuhey to Cistierna — 21 — albergue

14. Cistierna to La Ercina — 14 — albergue

15. La Ercina to Boñar — 16 — two pensiones and albergue turistico

16. Boñar to Vegacervera — 27.3 — albergue — this is another mountain stage with 600 m elevation gain. See the alternative at the end of this list, posted as 16A and 16B.

17. Vegacervera to Buiza — 16 — albergue. OR Pola de Gordón — 23 — two economical pensiones

18. Buiza to La Magdalena (27 from Buiza and about 20 from Pola de Gordón) — basic pilgrim shelter and roadside hotel

19. La Magdalena to Pandorado — 21 — Casa Resthy. 987 580 722. Small touristic apartments.

20. Pandorado to Fasgar — 26 — albergue. This town is a 5 star not to be missed place!!!!!

21. Fasgar to Igüeña — 18 — albergue

22. Igüeña to Labañiego — 19 — albergue

23. Labañiego to Congosto — 18 — casa rural

24. Congosto to Ponferrada — 18 — albergue.

For the non-mountain option through La Robla instead of through Vegacervera. (Ender’s guide explains the less strenuous option, which involves two stages, on p. 39)

16A. Boñar to Candanedo de Fenar — 26 — Hostal Restaurante El Valle, tel. 987 578 426
16B. Candanedo de Fenar to La Magdalena — 23 — basic pilgrim refuge and roadside hotels.
From here, you continue on with stage 19 above.

This is really a first draft and might need some refinement, but I’m happy to help! Buen camino, Laurie
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And just to say that I got a WhatsApp from Casa Miguel (see Stage 7 — Olea). I wrote to them asking about whether they would be willing to pick up peregrinos who can’t make it the whole way from Arija. That was before I had found the casa rural halfway between, but in any event, they just responded to say — no problem, they can pick people up wherever they want. Just another indication of what wonderful people they are in this family-owned business.

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