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The practical guide to the Camino Olvidado from Bilbao - Summer 2022

omicko

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances,
May 1999 and others.
I've changed a couple of typos and renamed It and published it again as :

THE PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE CAMINO OLVIDADO FROM BILBAO - SUMMER 2022.
Before it was too far down the list for new members to visit, even though it was only published on the 15th of October 2022.
I have also been involved in an all consuming Project for the last 3½ years and still am which meant I couldn't get involved in the Detailed Planning Thread.
This is not a blog. I don't do blogs, if you want stories read a book ;) . Do this Camino and experience your own story. This is about practical advice, gained from doing this Camino three times In 2018,2019 and after Covid In 2022 and updating the guide each time. Everything has been verified by me, not copied.

Print the GUIDE in COLOUR because RED indicates ACCOMMODATION, GREEN Indicates CAFES, SUPERMARKETS etc. Print double-sided. On the Camino you have one sheet in your pocket. Cheers, Mick.
 

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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
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Big thank you for putting in the time to put this together for the rest of us. I've been following your guidance since 2019 while planning an Olvidado-Salvador-Primitivo route. Trained, geared up, booked flights for late August 2020 start. Well, hoping to once again take a run at it.
Frank
 
Cheers @omicko !

Just took a quick look and thanks for listing the prices. They may of course go up this year but at least I've got an indication.
Hiya LT, some of these prices are for this year in May, June and July. Cheers, Mick.
 
Hi Mike,
I'm looking through your guide and comparing info with what I have gotten from Ender's guide (I'm only as far as my day 3). I was planning on sleeping in Santelices. In your guide there is no accommodation but Ender mentions the Albergue Antigua, Estacion de Santelices tel. 667 43 17 26. Was it closed when you went through?

I'll probably have more questions but this is the first one that has come up.

Cheers
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Ok I have now gone through the two lists with accommodations - yours and Ender's. Your list is missing the following albergues (important to know if correct as I am planning on staying here in order to keep the costs down):
  1. The above one in Santelices
  2. In Arija Albergue de Arija tel 665 823232. And I understand from pilgrims walking last year that the Camping Playa de Arija charges 30 euros if you are walking alone, not 15.
  3. In Alguilar de Campo Albergue los Sombreros (Sonia). Not actually in Alguilar but she will pick you up and drop off the next day Tel 680 601549.
  4. In Cervera de Pisuerga Albergue Juvenil Tel 979 870 174/687 499 306.
Please note that I have not yet contacted these places as I'm only going in the summer.
 
Ok I have now gone through the two lists with accommodations - yours and Ender's. Your list is missing the following albergues (important to know if correct as I am planning on staying here in order to keep the costs down):
  1. The above one in Santelices
  2. In Arija Albergue de Arija tel 665 823232. And I understand from pilgrims walking last year that the Camping Playa de Arija charges 30 euros if you are walking alone, not 15.
  3. In Alguilar de Campo Albergue los Sombreros (Sonia). Not actually in Alguilar but she will pick you up and drop off the next day Tel 680 601549.
  4. In Cervera de Pisuerga Albergue Juvenil Tel 979 870 174/687 499 306.
Please note that I have not yet contacted these places as I'm only going in the summer.

The Santelices albergue is currently closed because of a property dispute between the couple that ran it. It is in the courts and should be resolved soon, but I know of a lot of Spanish property disputes that have taken a LONG time.

I'll ask about the others.
 
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And this is not a criticism, because most Olvidado peregrinos do this, but the "official Olvidado" goes from Congosto through Cabañas Raras (where there is an albergue and a town just waiting for pilgrims) and on to Cacabelos and Villafranca. This guide assumes you'll be doing the standard "drop down to Ponferrada from Congosto" .
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
More news from Ender —

Espinosa de los Monteros will open an albergue municipal very soon. I’ve seen pictures and the space is finished. All that’s needed are the beds.

In Arija there is an albergue juvenil, that sometimes takes in pilgrims.

The Rivera albergue in Cervera is closed. The youth hostel is a ways out of town. I personally would stay in Cervera though — it’s a nice little town and has a lot of private offerings.

 
Hi Mike,
I'm looking through your guide and comparing info with what I have gotten from Ender's guide (I'm only as far as my day 3). I was planning on sleeping in Santelices. In your guide there is no accommodation but Ender mentions the Albergue Antigua, Estacion de Santelices tel. 667 43 17 26. Was it closed when you went through?

I'll probably have more questions but this is the first one that has come up.

Cheers
Hiya LT, stayed there in 2018 but last year in June 2022 I was going to stay there again but found it was closed. There was a hotel, HOTEL RURAL EL RINCON de LAS MERINDADES. This had a similar price to the hotels in Pedrosa de Valdeporres. For me expensive. At the time the daily temperatures were 39 degrees Centigrade. So I stayed in Santelices in my tent down by the river at a barbecue area. Slept like a baby. Cheers, Mick.
 
Thanks for the guide, it is very good especially food shops as I need to plan what days to get supplies. Notice you don't mention an Albergue in Labaniego where I am hoping to stay, but Ender mentions Domo de Labaniego ( Javier) 619 644 632 Acogida peregrinos 661 013 566. Do you know if they are still an option?
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Hiya LT, stayed there in 2018 but last year in June 2022 I was going to stay there again but found it was closed. There was a hotel, HOTEL RURAL EL RINCON de LAS MERINDADES. This had a similar price to the hotels in Pedrosa de Valdeporres. For me expensive. At the time the daily temperatures were 39 degrees Centigrade. So I stayed in Santelices in my tent down by the river at a barbecue area. Slept like a baby. Cheers, Mick.
HOTEL RURAL EL RINCON de LAS MERINDADES is 48 Euros for 1 person this year. Cheers, Mick.
 
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Thanks for the guide, it is very good especially food shops as I need to plan what days to get supplies. Notice you don't mention an Albergue in Labaniego where I am hoping to stay, but Ender mentions Domo de Labaniego ( Javier) 619 644 632 Acogida peregrinos 661 013 566. Do you know if they are still an option?
Labaniego. Acogida peregrinos 661 013 566.
I've just spoken to Clemente.The accommodation is open. You need to phone him up before you arrive to see if it is available.
Last year I couldn't contact him.
I personally would stay at at NOCEDA DEL BIERZO. Cheers, Mick.
 
Thanks for that. Has anyone seen or stayed in the eco hut at Labaniego? It looks really interesting. Called Domo Labaniego, if I am looking online at the same thing. Ender mentions it at as a place to stay.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Unfortunate about the albergue in Santelices, I'll now have to look at my previously planned stages:(

Thanks @peregrina2000 Laurie for checking info with Ender. I do plan on staying in Congosto then on to Cacabelos or maybe Villafranca.

These were the stages I had planned:

Day 1 Bilbao- Balmaseda
Day 2 Balmaseda - Villasante (bypassing Nava)

Day 3 Villasante - Santelices
Day 4 Santelices - Arija

Day 5 Arija - Olea
Day 6 Olea - Aguilar de Campo
Day 7 Aguilar - Cervera de Pisuerga
Day 8 Cervera - Guardo
Day 9 Guardo - Puente Almuhey
Day 10 Puente - Cistierna
Day 11 Cisierna - Bonar
Day 12 Bonar - Vegacervera
Day 13 Vegacervera - Pola de Gordon
Day 14 Pola - La Magdalena
Day 15 La Magdalena - Vegarienza
Day 16 Vegarienza - Fascar
Day 17 Fascar - Congosto
Day 18 Congosto - Cacabelos
etc.

So day 3 and 4 will need to be adjusted. Just hope that it won't cause a domino effect with the rest of the stages...
 
More news from Ender —

Espinosa de los Monteros will open an albergue municipal very soon. I’ve seen pictures and the space is finished. All that’s needed are the beds.

In Arija there is an albergue juvenil, that sometimes takes in pilgrims.

The Rivera albergue in Cervera is closed. The youth hostel is a ways out of town. I personally would stay in Cervera though — it’s a nice little town and has a lot of private offerings.

According to your link Laurie, the albergue juvenil is temporarily closed. Maybe just for the winter. A heads-up from a poster today on the Olvidado FB page that she paid 30 euros last year to stay there. Given it's out of town, might as well stay in a hostal if staying in Cervera.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Unfortunate about the albergue in Santelices, I'll now have to look at my previously planned stages:(

Thanks @peregrina2000 Laurie for checking info with Ender. I do plan on staying in Congosto then on to Cacabelos or maybe Villafranca.

These were the stages I had planned:

Day 1 Bilbao- Balmaseda
Day 2 Balmaseda - Villasante (bypassing Nava)

Day 3 Villasante - Santelices
Day 4 Santelices - Arija

Day 5 Arija - Olea
Day 6 Olea - Aguilar de Campo
Day 7 Aguilar - Cervera de Pisuerga
Day 8 Cervera - Guardo
Day 9 Guardo - Puente Almuhey
Day 10 Puente - Cistierna
Day 11 Cisierna - Bonar
Day 12 Bonar - Vegacervera
Day 13 Vegacervera - Pola de Gordon
Day 14 Pola - La Magdalena
Day 15 La Magdalena - Vegarienza
Day 16 Vegarienza - Fascar
Day 17 Fascar - Congosto
Day 18 Congosto - Cacabelos
etc.

So day 3 and 4 will need to be adjusted. Just hope that it won't cause a domino effect with the rest of the stages...
Hi @LTfit , my plan for September isn't too much dissimilar to your plan, which is somewhat reassuring as this Camino has involved a lot of research and reading guides and posts on the Forum ( similar I think to what @Sitkapilgrim mentioned in her great posts). I have picked stages where there appears to be some kind of accommodation. and a shop, but the two are not always possible!
My first 3 days differ to yours;
day 1 - Güeñes
day 2 - Nava de Ordunte ? (want to meet the famous Adolfo!)
day 3 - Espinosa
day 4 - Santelices
then the same up to day 9, when instead of going to Guardo next day, I am splitting the journey from Cervera to Puente Almuhey into 2 extra days
day 8 - Cervera
day 9 - Tarilonte or Santibanez depending on accommodation availability
day 10- Velilla
day 11- Puente Almuhey
The rest of my stages, including the stage from Pola de Gordon to La Magdalena avoiding Buiza, match your own up to Fasgar, . I am splitting the Fasgar to Congosto stage into 2, so
day 19 - Iguena
day 20- Labaniego ( want to find out about the eco domo)
I will finish in Cacebelos, where there looks to be 2 very interesting Albergues amongst a load of other accommodation. I hope to meet my husband and dogs there, or in Villafranca and then we hope to spend at least 6 weeks in our campervan touring the North of Spain. In all I am walking 22 days but it could end up being shorter, or longer, depending on weather, my ability and of course accommodation!
I am very excited about this Camino.
 
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According to your link Laurie, the albergue juvenil is temporarily closed.
Ender says it has never been a sure bet there, even if they are open. And as you note, it’s a ways out of town. The in-town albergue, Rivera, was also owned by the same people and it is permanently closed. But you are right there are several small inexpensive hotels in town, and the town is nice.
 
Day 3 Villasante - Santelices
I know you prefer albergues, but there is a place less than a km before Santelices where I stayed. Hotel Rural La Engaña. That may be a little cheaper than the hotel listed in Ender’s guide, I don’t know. But on closer inspection the two places may be one and the same.
Hotel Rural la Engaña or Hotel Rural El Rincón de las Merindades — do they look the same to others?
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Laurie, although they look similar they have different mobile contact numbers? Also I notice on the La Engaña, they are quoting prices for an individual room plus breakfast of around 63E which is more expensive than El Rincón.
 
Laurie, although they look similar they have different mobile contact numbers? Also I notice on the La Engaña, they are quoting prices for an individual room plus breakfast of around 63E which is more expensive than El Rincón.
Yes, I remember La Engaña was not good price/quality ratio, but we were fine. Have you tried WhatsApping them, if just to confirm the contact, @laineylainey?
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
I hope to stay at El Rincón and they have confirmed by WhatsApp a price of 48€ incluye breakfast, which is a bit high but choices are limited?
I think the place we stayed was a bit cheaper (but we were two and a double was about 55, I think), but hey that was almost ten years ago! And it was a kind of slap-dash chaotic jumble of a place. Merindades looks nicer. I think the Engaña’s main focus at the time was to try to bring in kids wanting to learn English but it didn’t seem to be taking off as hoped. It was fine, but I would try the other place if I were so lucky as to be able to go back.
 
I hope to stay at El Rincón and they have confirmed by WhatsApp a price of 48€ incluye breakfast, which is a bit high but choices are limited?
Too bad it's that expensive but I think that I will have to bite the bullet cause I spent an hour fiddling around with stages and it's impossible to find a better solution. Was thinking about going all the way to Espinosa on day two (43,5 km) but then it screws up the following days. There are just no decent alternatives. It looks like Santelices, Arija, Olea and Cervera are going to be between 30 and 50 euros each:(
 
There are just no decent alternatives. It looks like Santelices, Arija, Olea and Cervera are going to be between 30 and 50 euros each
The albergues are increasing, but that’s not going to help you @LTfit. Ender writes that he has just had several meetings with towns along the route, and the towns in Burgos are going to make an Olvidado Association, as are three of the 6 ayuntamientos in Palencia. That will give some official impetus to the route. The León Association that Ender and his pals have formed has really been doing good work.

I’m not looking at a map now, LT, but you might be able to rejigger the part between Magdalena- Riello - Vegarienza-Fasgar- Igüeña (all albergues) to free up time to restage some of the earlier parts.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
The albergues are increasing, but that’s not going to help you @LTfit. Ender writes that he has just had several meetings with towns along the route, and the towns in Burgos are going to make an Olvidado Association, as are three of the 6 ayuntamientos in Palencia. That will give some official impetus to the route. The León Association that Ender and his pals have formed has really been doing good work.

I’m not looking at a map now, LT, but you might be able to rejigger the part between Magdalena- Riello - Vegarienza-Fasgar- Igüeña (all albergues) to free up time to restage some of the earlier parts.
Maybe. I was trying to rejuggle the earlier stages as the later stages have albergues.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
That’s because of Ender‘s Olvidado Association in León! So give him some time, it’ll get there. The one in Espinosa de los Monteros might open in time for you.
But that would make day two 43.5 km instead of about 36 km to Villasante where there is a donativo.

But even if I walked all the way to Espinosa it doesn't solve the Santilices, Arija, Olea and Cervera conundrum.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
I hope to stay at El Rincón and they have confirmed by WhatsApp a price of 48€ incluye breakfast, which is a bit high but choices are limited?
:) I have already told you this, this morning in Post 13.
 
I know you prefer albergues, but there is a place less than a km before Santelices where I stayed. Hotel Rural La Engaña. That may be a little cheaper than the hotel listed in Ender’s guide, I don’t know. But on closer inspection the two places may be one and the same.
Hotel Rural la Engaña or Hotel Rural El Rincón de las Merindades — do they look the same to others?
Hiya Laurie, Hotel La Engaña and the Hotel La Serna are In Pedrosa de Valdeporres.
Hotel Rural Rincon de Las Merindades Is In Santelices. See my guide.
Engaña and Serna are now 50 Euros each, compared to 48 Euros for Rincon.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Hiya Laurie, Hotel La Engaña and the Hotel La Serna are In Pedrosa de Valdeporres.
Hotel Rural Rincon de Las Merindades Is In Santelices. See my guide.
Engaña and Serna are now 50 Euros each, compared to 48 Euros for Rincon.

I just spent 2 nights on this route - one in Espinosa de los Monteros and the other in Pedrosa.

Stayed in El Rincon in Espinosa (different from the place of a similar name in Santelices) and it was pricey! For 2 people it's ok (split the 70 euros), but it is a very nice place. The Albergue opening there will be great and hepl keep prices down. And I loved Espinsoa! A very cute place to spend an evening.

We stayed in Hotel La Engaña in Pedrosa (just before Santelices). It was actually a great stay! I loved the place! It's rustic but we were the only ones there (the English workshops are still happening, but not this time of year. They're less classes/workshops than an immersion program for adults...some colleagues have worked there/for them). The building is a more run-down version of the Hotel Rural Rincon in Santelices (if you look them up online, the buildings look very similar). It was closed for the winter so not an option for us last weekend.

As the place was quiet, we had full use of the place. They even brought in firewood for us and we sat with a bottle of wine in front the fire for ages. Just lovely! The couple running it were very gracious hosts.

It was 65 euros for the 2 of us. As we had full use of the place, it was a good deal but I can imagine that if they had an English immersion group there it would be less so.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Are you sure that’s how you want to split the days? Vegarienza to Fasgar is about 16, Fasgar to Congosto would be over 50. Fasgar is LOVELY, no doubt about it, though.
You're right, don't know why I typed that. This is the correct list of stages with km (according to Ender), they include all the mountain stages:

Day 1 Bilbao- Balmaseda 37.3
Day 2 Balmaseda - Villasante 36.5 (bypassing Nava)
Day 3 Villasante - Santelices 31.95
Day 4 Santelices - Arija 25.8
Day 5 Arija - Olea 32.5
Day 6 Olea - Aguilar de Campo 24.3
Day 7 Aguilar - Cervera de Pisuerga 28.7
Day 8 Cervera - Guardo 39.3
Day 9 Guardo - Puente Almuhey 31.7
Day 10 Puente - Cistierna 21.2
Day 11 Cisierna - Bonar 30.3
Day 12 Bonar - Vegacervera 27.3
Day 13 Vegacervera - Pola de Gordon 21
Day 14 Pola - La Magdalena 22.5
Day 15 La Magdalena - Vegarienza 28.4
Day 16 Vegarienza - Igüeña 36.2
Day 17 Igüeña - Congosto 37.4
Day 18 Congosto - Cacabelos 28.8 or to Villafranca 36.8
 
I've changed a couple of typos and renamed It and published it again as :

THE PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE CAMINO OLVIDADO FROM BILBAO - SUMMER 2022.
Before it was too far down the list for new members to visit, even though it was only published on the 15th of October 2022.
I have also been involved in an all consuming Project for the last 3½ years and still am which meant I couldn't get involved in the Detailed Planning Thread.
This is not a blog. I don't do blogs, if you want stories read a book ;) . Do this Camino and experience your own story. This is about practical advice, gained from doing this Camino three times In 2018,2019 and after Covid In 2022 and updating the guide each time. Everything has been verified by me, not copied.

Print the GUIDE in COLOUR because RED indicates ACCOMMODATION, GREEN Indicates CAFES, SUPERMARKETS etc. Print double-sided. On the Camino you have one sheet in your pocket. Cheers, Mick.

Wow, thanks, I just discovered this. I am in Guardo today and am taking one day at a time. I walk all day and barely have time to plan for the next stage!! Constantly thinking about the next accommodation is a bit stressful. This list will make it so much easier!
 
I've changed a couple of typos and renamed It and published it again as :

THE PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE CAMINO OLVIDADO FROM BILBAO - SUMMER 2022.
Before it was too far down the list for new members to visit, even though it was only published on the 15th of October 2022.
I have also been involved in an all consuming Project for the last 3½ years and still am which meant I couldn't get involved in the Detailed Planning Thread.
This is not a blog. I don't do blogs, if you want stories read a book ;) . Do this Camino and experience your own story. This is about practical advice, gained from doing this Camino three times In 2018,2019 and after Covid In 2022 and updating the guide each time. Everything has been verified by me, not copied.

Print the GUIDE in COLOUR because RED indicates ACCOMMODATION, GREEN Indicates CAFES, SUPERMARKETS etc. Print double-sided. On the Camino you have one sheet in your pocket. Cheers, Mick.
The original version saved me from so much hassle in 2019. Great to see update Omicko. Thanks a million!
 
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