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LIVE from the Camino Two peregrinas on the Via de Bayona

2020 Camino Guides

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
I sure was!!!! Because Sabine wss so incredibly kind to take some of my things, I could walk today with kilos less on my back. And it made a huge difference. All the same I missrd her wonderful company...she IS a true peregrina!

The path was very well waymarked, both on the way up and only slightly less on the way down. Some of the waymarking looked pretty new, in fact.

Day 5 Zegama to Salvaterria 21.9
Part 1...too many photos!
The surprise of the day was that this stage was a challenge but not as bad as I feared it would be.
And aiyiyi, what a day!!!
It is probably my most beautiful and interesting camino day ever. It ticked all the boxes: historical interest, natural beauty, mountains, and being an old and 'authenic' route.
And...if you come this way, do heed the warnings to bring enough water and pay attention to where you are going, and where you put your feet. Being lost up there could be real trouble. And a bad fall, ditto.

So the way up was steady uphill after the first km or so, with a few breaks higher up. The path started out paved, but soon became dirt, going up through oak and maple woodland and pasture, higher up going through some amazing stands of very old beech in bright new leaf on one side and more somber larch and conifers on the other. Unerfoot were the many wildflowers, including some stunning orchids and wierd purple legumes with purple flowers erupting straight out of the ground.

The path emerged at the Ermita de Sancti Spiritu, which was beautiful but deserted; right around the corner the path crosses pasture and the view ahead opened up to the tunnel ahead.

I stayed there for a while, and can't quite capture the experience in words. The clearing of the fog, the chatter of the many swallows as they flashed in and out, imagining all that have passed through here, and all the work this road has seen. Not to mention what it myst have taken to build it.

On the other side of the short tunnel, the calzada romana was astonishingly good shape after almost two millenia of summers and winters. What will our autovias look like in that much time?

It continued uphill for about a km, and then headed steadily down through beautiful beech forest, contouring along one side of a valley, crossing the stream and then going down the other side. Much was eventually on a forestry road, so the walking was easy. It seemed cooler on this side of the mountain, and the oaks and maples were just coming into leaf.

And then at the bottom, emerging into a whole different world - villages that were Spanish rather than Basque, and wide open spaces with broad fields of ripening wheat and vistas of mountains.

Photos...too many for one post! It was a gorgeous day.

A big thank you to Sabine for making ease possible...I was so sorry she missed this.

My pictures were a little different.

Joe
 

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Day 7 Vitoria to La Puebla de Arganzon 18.8 (or maybe a bit more?)
A lovely short stage.
The exit from Vitoria was lovely, on a tree-lined passeo. We followed wikiloc tracks as the waymarks were patchy, especially at first. At the top of the passeo was a statue on San Prudencio, followed by a lovely Basilica bearing his name.

Once out of the city, there was a stretch (that was mercifully short) on the shoulder of a busy road, but after that a lot of the day was on gravel. First the way went through fields, but the last half was up and over a forested hill. It was exquisite walking and not too steep, through oak and maple woods, with so many wildflowers that it seriously slowed me down: wild iris, roses, orchids, as well as all the usuals - oregeno, lavendar, broom, and morning glory. But it was the wild Helebore that stopped me in my tracks. (Sorry botanophiles, I can't upload the plant pics because for some reason the files are too big.) The South and North sides of the hill had noticibly different flora, with holm oaks becoming predominant, as opposed to other oak and maples on the cooler North side.

Once at the top, there was a choice of ways to go, and confusion. The wikiloc tracks on my phone led one way, but there were new-looking waymarks going in another direction, angling right and almost flat! I took the way to the right, but then dithered uncertainly, doubling back to make sure of myself. (I wish I had taken some pics but was too busy finding the way. Sorry...) Back at the intersection, I found arrows in two directions a little way down the 'old' route that had been taken by everone who'd laid down wikiloc tracks, as well as one yellow X near the top. So I turned around again and ended up took the other marked way diagonally right that followed the ridgetop and eventually went straight down to the left on a firebreak road once reaching the power pylons. After 800 meters or so, the marked way went left and followed two-track roads all the way out to the regular wikiloc route about 400 m before it goes under the autovia, right before PdlA. There were painted waymarks as well as one metal standard at the top.

Sabine took the other way, and said it is waymarked too, but a very rocky descent. So no matter what way you choose, it will get you here. But the way down via the firebreak road was not in any way treacherously rocky.
 

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Michael I really hope you have good weather for that stage through the tunnel.
Joe's post:
My pictures were a little different
Shows another option.
Joe, that second photo is gorgeous. Worth printing and framing, so you can admire it in more comfortable circumstances.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Day 7 Vitoria to La Puebla de Arganzon 18.8 (or maybe a bit more?)
A lovely short stage.
The exit from Vitoria was lovely, on a tree-lined passeo. We followed wikiloc tracks as the waymarks were patchy, especially at first. At the top of the passeo was a statue on San Prudencio, followed by a lovely Basilica bearing his name.

Once out of the city, there was a stretch (that was mercifully short) on the shoulder of a busy road, but after that a lot of the day was on gravel. First the way went through fields, but the last half was up and over a forested hill. It was exquisite walking and not too steep, through oak and maple woods, with so many wildflowers that it seriously slowed me down: wild iris, roses, orchids, as well as all the usuals - oregeno, lavendar, broom, and morning glory. But it was the wild Helebore that stopped me in my tracks. (Sorry botanophiles, I can't upload the plant pics because for some reason the files are too big.) The South and North sides of the hill had noticibly different flora, with holm oaks becoming predominant, as opposed to other oak and maples on the cooler North side.

Once at the top, there was a choice of ways to go, and confusion. The wikiloc tracks on my phone led one way, but there were new-looking waymarks going in another direction, angling right and almost flat! I took the way to the right, but then dithered uncertainly, doubling back to make sure of myself. (I wish I had taken some pics but was too busy finding the way. Sorry...) Back at the intersection, I found arrows in two directions a little way down the 'old' route that had been taken by everone who'd laid down wikiloc tracks, as well as one yellow X near the top. So I turned around again and ended up took the other marked way diagonally right that followed the ridgetop and eventually went straight down to the left on a firebreak road once reaching the power pylons. After 800 meters or so, the marked way went left and followed two-track roads all the way out to the regular wikiloc route about 400 m before it goes under the autovia, right before PdlA. There were painted waymarks as well as one metal standard at the top.

Sabine took the other way, and said it is waymarked too, but a very rocky descent. So no matter what way you choose, it will get you here. But the way down via the firebreak road was not in any way treacherously rocky.
Ahhh, you two had a perfect weather. I did the same stage but with light drizzle in Vitoria and I came to LPdA in cataclismic downpour. I took the road alternative, my poncho was devastated, I was soaked throughout and then this guy let me in albergue. Is he still a hospitalero? He's very special. And I didn't understand him a word :D

EDIT for future pilgrims: this albergue has some electric heaters (I definitely remember at least one) so my stuff was all dry in the morning.
 

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
this guy let me in albergue. Is he still a hospitalero? He's very special. And I didn't understand him a word :D
Yes, and he talked a blue streak There are 3 of us here tonight, and the very quiet Catalan peregrino took the brunt of the talking while Sabine and I retreated upstairs.;)

And **important edit for all of you coming soon**:
There is a pastelleria on the south end of La Puebla de Arganzon that opens at 6. Breakfast of champions! 😊
 

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FamPed

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
There are many different Pilgrim Routes and Caminos in life.
I have just found this thread. ☺ Taking 2 rest days to help leg injuries heal, before going back to my pilgrimage at the Egino Route (Sweden) I hope you have a wonderful time! Love the text and pictures, and that chicken bridge.. Happy belated birthday @SabineP 🎂
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Michael I really hope you have good weather for that stage through the tunnel.
Joe's post:

Shows another option.
Joe, that second photo is gorgeous. Worth printing and framing, so you can admire it in more comfortable circumstances.
VN:

I had a water color painted from the photo and it hangs in my living room.

:)
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Some pics of today's walk. 18k. from La Puebla de Arganzon to Miranda del Ebro. All in all a nice walk. A bit of everything with a Roman Road and ending with lots of mud. Tried to wash most of it of with some of the water I had. Failed miserably. Ha but the people at the lovely restaurant Tartan did not seem to mind. Great food with lots of veggie choices. Another recommendation from a lovely local lady.
 

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Taking 2 rest days to help leg injuries heal, before going back to my pilgrimage at the Egino Route (Sweden)
Rest well and buen camino up there, @FamPed!

Day 8 Puebla de Arlanzon to Miranda de Ebro about 19 km
Another short day, so we could have a nice lunch and then take the train to Haro; we decided we want to follow the Via de Bayona, but are here in Haro for a rest day, taking the train back tomorrow. This way we get the best of both worlds. (Lunch was an amazing menu del dia at Tartan not fat from the station...a little pricy, but well worth it, the first decent vegetarian food this trip. An elderly lady pigeonholed Sabine on the street to tell her where the visitor's info was, and we asked her. A slightly flash place, but they didn't even mind our pilgrim clothes and packs!)

It was a day of gentle ups and downs with a mix of surfaces - paved, gravel, and muddy on top of gravel at the end, the kind that stuck to our shoes tenaciously and annoyingly. At first the route followed the autovia, but soon struck off and away through fields and small villages; we had to go under the autovia later, but it was short and painless.

The fork in the camino, where the way to Haro and the way to MdE split was obvious after the village of Estavillo. It would be hard to miss unless you were really zoning out. The Haro way forks left and goes flat across fields, while the MdE way goes down and to the right towards the autovia and Armiñon (a gorgeous little town with an amazing bridge over the rio Zadorra). There are a gazillion arrows and signposting at the junction (the last pic).

After Armiñon, the way to MdE could be confusing. All the wikiloc tracks that I had uploaded come into MdE from the East. And there was a place halfway up the hill above Armiñon where arrows pointed in the same direction as two of these tracks, but another directon was also marked, going straight uphill into terra incognita (the building in the first pic shows the point of divergence). We followed the straight way and found a well-waymarked path (that is also on the maps provided by the Gobierno Vasco) that comes into the city from the North, missing the vast majority of the industrial areas completely. From this direction, MdE appears suddenly, when you're almost there, like Hontanas on the Frances. I made a wikiloc track from Armiñón - search with my user name here and you should find it.

Lots of history has happened here: we could see old fortifications on nearby hilltops, and part of the way followed a roman road and the Calle Real after that. It was an open agricutural landscape but there were still lots of roses and the scent of Elderflower.

Now we are in Haro, ready to enjoy some pinxos...40€ for a double at Pension la Peña, very central.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Rest well and buen camino up there, @FamPed!

Day 8 Puebla de Arlanzon to Miranda de Ebro about 19 km
Another short day, so we could have a nice lunch and then take the train to Haro; we decided we want to follow the Via de Bayona, but are here in Haro for a rest day, taking the train back tomorrow. This way we get the best of both worlds. (Lunch was an amazing menu del dia at Tartan not fat from the station...a little pricy, but well worth it, the first decent vegetarian food this trip. An elderly lady pigeonholed Sabine on the street to tell her where the visitor's info was, and we asked her. A slightly flash place, but they didn't even mind our pilgrim clothes and packs!)

It was a day of gentle ups and downs with a mix of surfaces - paved, gravel, and muddy on top of gravel at the end, the kind that stuck to our shoes tenaciously and annoyingly. At first the route followed the autovia, but soon struck off and away through fields and small villages; we had to go under the autovia later, but it was short and painless.

The fork in the camino, where the way to Haro and the way to MdE split was obvious after the village of Estavillo. It would be hard to miss unless you were really zoning out. The Haro way forks left and goes flat across fields, while the MdE way goes down and to the right towards the autovia and Armiñon (a gorgeous little town with an amazing bridge over the rio Zadorra). There are a gazillion arrows and signposting at the junction (the last pic).

After Armiñon, the way to MdE could be confusing. All the wikiloc tracks that I had uploaded come into MdE from the East. And there was a place halfway up the hill above Armiñon where arrows pointed in the same direction as two of these tracks, but another directon was also marked, going straight uphill into terra incognita (the building in the first pic shows the point of divergence). We followed the straight way and found a well-waymarked path (that is also on the maps provided by the Gobierno Vasco) that comes into the city from the North, missing the vast majority of the industrial areas completely. From this direction, MdE appears suddenly, when you're almost there, like Hontanas on the Frances. I made a wikiloc track from Armiñón - search with my user name here and you should find it.

Lots of history has happened here: we could see old fortifications on nearby hilltops, and part of the way followed a roman road and the Calle Real after that. It was an open agricutural landscape but there were still lots of roses and the scent of Elderflower.

Now we are in Haro, ready to enjoy some pinxos...40€ for a double at Pension la Peña, very central.
Love the poppies, vnwalking. So glad things are a bit dryer for you both now...
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Rest well and buen camino up there, @FamPed!

Day 8 Puebla de Arlanzon to Miranda de Ebro about 19 km
Another short day, so we could have a nice lunch and then take the train to Haro; we decided we want to follow the Via de Bayona, but are here in Haro for a rest day, taking the train back tomorrow. This way we get the best of both worlds. (Lunch was an amazing menu del dia at Tartan not fat from the station...a little pricy, but well worth it, the first decent vegetarian food this trip. An elderly lady pigeonholed Sabine on the street to tell her where the visitor's info was, and we asked her. A slightly flash place, but they didn't even mind our pilgrim clothes and packs!)

It was a day of gentle ups and downs with a mix of surfaces - paved, gravel, and muddy on top of gravel at the end, the kind that stuck to our shoes tenaciously and annoyingly. At first the route followed the autovia, but soon struck off and away through fields and small villages; we had to go under the autovia later, but it was short and painless.

The fork in the camino, where the way to Haro and the way to MdE split was obvious after the village of Estavillo. It would be hard to miss unless you were really zoning out. The Haro way forks left and goes flat across fields, while the MdE way goes down and to the right towards the autovia and Armiñon (a gorgeous little town with an amazing bridge over the rio Zadorra). There are a gazillion arrows and signposting at the junction (the last pic).

After Armiñon, the way to MdE could be confusing. All the wikiloc tracks that I had uploaded come into MdE from the East. And there was a place halfway up the hill above Armiñon where arrows pointed in the same direction as two of these tracks, but another directon was also marked, going straight uphill into terra incognita (the building in the first pic shows the point of divergence). We followed the straight way and found a well-waymarked path (that is also on the maps provided by the Gobierno Vasco) that comes into the city from the North, missing the vast majority of the industrial areas completely. From this direction, MdE appears suddenly, when you're almost there, like Hontanas on the Frances. I made a wikiloc track from Armiñón - search with my user name here and you should find it.

Lots of history has happened here: we could see old fortifications on nearby hilltops, and part of the way followed a roman road and the Calle Real after that. It was an open agricutural landscape but there were still lots of roses and the scent of Elderflower.

Now we are in Haro, ready to enjoy some pinxos...40€ for a double at Pension la Peña, very central.
You guys are going the wrong way. You are going to miss some great views and wonderful wine country in Brinas and Haro. ;-).

Joe
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Some impressions from Haro. Last night.
Was here on a regular holidays years ago and was happy to see the same wonderful pintxosbars are still going strong.
My favourite being Los Caños!
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Some pics of today's walk. 18k. from La Puebla de Arganzon to Miranda del Ebro. All in all a nice walk. A bit of everything with a Roman Road and ending with lots of mud. Tried to wash most of it of with some of the water I had. Failed miserably. Ha but the people at the lovely restaurant Tartan did not seem to mind. Great food with lots of veggie choices. Another recommendation from a lovely local lady.
You have Vasco in the title of the thread but you are walking Via de Bayona towards Burgos (as two of your photos clearly indicates). You just won't do it in its total lenght without walking from Bayonne to Irun ;)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
You have Vasco in the title of the thread but you are walking Via de Bayona towards Burgos
Haha! Well, seeing as the Baztan 5 already walked that bit two years ago, albeit in reverse...does that count?
Two names, same footsteps, until after Estavillo. A sock by any other name will smell as bad. :cool:.
And now we are definitely on the Via Bayona.

Day 9 Miranda de Ebro to Pancorbo, 17 km.
A ridiculously short stage, but we are very happy up here in the mountains. Anyway, there is no intermediate option between here and Briviesca, so it's 17 or 37 kms. And it is a ridiculously gorgeous stage, too, very special.

It's Sunday and nothing was open in town, so we didn't stop for cafe until Ameyugo, at 11k. At the entry into the village, there's a very friendly local (non-comercial) bar called La Fuenta, which is much nicer than the truck-stop a bit further along.

The stage climbs very gently and steadily from Miranda de Ebro. At first coming the way was past vegetable allotments snd suburban neighborhoods, but once past the Hospital Santiago Apostal, we were away from pavement on small agricultural roads, and then eventually on a forest path.

As we neared the mountains, the weather closed in. While it never really rained, the views weren"t what they could have been. Even so, the closer we got to Pancorbo, the narrower the valley got - and the more spectacular the scenery got. The path went through groves of walnut, cherry, and hazel for a time, though the higher we got the more wild it got. Right near the top, the jagged peaks closed in around us and the air was full of vultures - at one point we counted 15, either perched or aloft.

Though the autovia, the train, and the path thread their way through the same narrow gap in the mountain, the path was far enough below the other two - and in places where there were tunnels for them - so they weren't intrusive. Though a rail viaduct was spectacular near the top.

A bit below Pancorbo the path went right past the XIC. Ermita de Santo Christo, a beautifully serene and peaceful place. Of course...it was not open.

Pancorbo is a place on Sunday for day-trippers, coming to walk in the mountains, and for people commuting to stop for a menu del dia. A gem of a mountain village.

The bar where the albergue key is kept was closed, and so we are in the Hostal Pancorbo, sharing a room with a mountain view and fabulous hot shower for 25€ each.
 

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SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Some more pics. While @VNwalking is exploring the town I am relaxing on the bed and catching up on federal Belgian elections today.
Hmm...seems some pics are too large for uploading?
 

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Ok. Now that I have pulled myself back together and we have stopped guffawing...

Pancorbo.
Oh, la la.
It is worth a stop.

Sorry,
Laurie. More pics. I walked through town and up to Castllo Santa Maria, making a loop back to the hostel on the other side of the stream.
(Sorry...it scrambles the order of the pics. But you get the drift...)
 

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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Ok. Now that I have pulled myself back together and we have stopped guffawing...

Pancorbo.
Oh, la la.
It is worth a stop.

Sorry,
Laurie. More pics. I walked through town and up to Castllo Santa Maria, making a loop back to the hostel on the other side of the stream.
(Sorry...it scrambles the order of the pics. But you get the drift...)
Breathtaking photos! Wow!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
STOP IT!!! I have pretty much decided to go to Santo Domingo instead of Burgos, but your pictures are just amazing. Especially that ermita before Pancorbo. I guess this just meas a return is required! I like your idea of the day trip over to Haro, but unfortunately I don’t have the time. So, Santo Domingo it is!
If you go to Santa Domingo you will pass through Brinas and Haro. You could even stop in Berantevilla and see the Medieval tabernacle.

Joe
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...
Pancorbo.
Oh, la la.
It is worth a stop.
...
Indeed it is. That stage ending in Pancorbo was the most beautiful for me and the village itself was a small gem. Nothing special though but the scenery and few of those old houses and the river...
Even albergue is very cozy and spacious with adequate bathrooms and stunning views. If you catch odd opening hours of the Centro Juvenil bar below it ;)

But from now on all the way to Burgos it's more or less flat, little shade and very Meseta-ish. I loved that too :)

What are your planned overnight stops. Maybe I can be of some help.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
I’m just catching up on this in a lavanderia in Mieres del Camino. Camino life 😀

Great that you two are having so much fun! I’m really looking forward to seeing the photos on a big screen when I get home. You’re great advocates for this route - no doubt lots of others will follow in your footsteps!

Happy walking! N xx
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Day 10 Pancorbo to Briviesca 23km
Today felt like a meseta day, a gradual uphill for a while from Pancorbo, onto rolling terrain with huge fields of wheat, with the mountains in the distance. We dipped down from the tops into small empty villages climbing out again on the other side.

We had overcast and cool weather, nice for walking, but not so suitable for seeing mountaintops.

Until Zuñeda, the path was gravel - or at one point a path through high grass next to the railway. After that it's a wide asphalt agricultural road, or pavement near the end.

After following fresh deer prints, we scared a young buck, and farther along one lept away across the fields. Pure magic.

Now we're in the Plaza Major in Briviesca, having eaten a very nice menu del dia at the restaurant next to the visitor's info centre, washed, and done laundry.

We went to the info centre when we arrived, and they called a lovely older guy named Carlos to take us to the albergue and sign us in. It's very nice: an apartment in the city with two rooms and apace for 10, and only the two of us. Life is good.
😊

Edit. The poppies were a particular joy today, but all the photos I have of them are too big and won't load.
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
The last night before Burgos is tomorrow at Monasterio de Redilla. Hard to believe we are almost there; this is a fantastic camino, and with so few pilgrims!
I too stayed in Monasterio de Rodilla because I wanted to shorten last day into Burgos. But only 5km before there is a very nice albergue in Quintanavides with 14 beds (donativo). There is at least one bar in the village but I didn't ask for shop.

Albergue in MdR is right on the extremely busy road with lots of trucks speeding by at all times of day. But there is a bar/restaurante across the side road from albergue. I guess the food is good because it was packed in the evening. There's only microwave in albergue.

Last day into Burgos is a bit of a slog. First a little bit uphill then through the huge windmill field (yellow arrows are there but you really have to look for them because most of them were faded). Camino on this stage doesn't go through villages but the closest is Hurones some 300m to the righthand side. At this point you can already see the outskirts of Burgos but it's still a long way to go. That last part through Burgos is quite long, something like if you would walk from Rosa de Lima train station to the old town of Burgos. Anyway you come from that side of the city.

Have fun!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Day 11. Briviesca to La Brujula, about 24km.
This camino never fails to surprise.

We intended to stop at the albergue in Monasterio, but could not (see below), so are tucked up in a pension again. That was the first surprise of the day.

The second surprise of the day was the glorious 3.7 from Monasterio to La Brujula.

Up until all that happened we were having an unremarkable day. We left Briviesca late because I had packed my camera and had a wee panic after breakfast before finding it in tbe bottom of my pack. Mindfulness is necessary. And Sabine has the patience of a saint.

So then off we went, up the valley from Briviesca - the day was a gradual and almost imperceptable incline until the end, when it was steeper. Unlike yesterday, we mostly stayed in the valley, for the first part, following the roads and railway, sometimes close and sometimes farther away.

The views may have been unremarkable but there were many small botanical joys: always the poppies and the blue spikes of Echium, as well as morning glories, rape, the soft drifts of poplar seeds underfoot, and the waves of wind throuhh the wheat.

There are some sadly decaying towns here, and there was only one open bar in Quintanavides (the sign said open 12 Noon every day). [Edit - Sabine reminds me that there's one also at Santa Olalia]

When Sabine got to Monasterio (well before me so I leave it to her to post pics), lo and behold the wife of the mayor who came to open the albergue told us nothing at all is open in the town on Tuesdays. No bar, no tienda, no nada.

So as it was still pretty early and we had no food on us besides a package of chocolate cookies and some nuts, we shouldered our packs and headed to the roadside pension at La Brujula, where there is a full service cafeteria.

Surprise number 2 came after the very special Ermita de Nuesta Señora de Valle: the path went up and over a hill, and we were walking with stunning views all around on a carpet of wildflowers. To the South, in front of us, was the Sierra de la Demanda, and far to the Northeast we could see the gap in the mountains at Pancorbo. Behind us, above the Ermita - wow! - was a folded hunk of rock creating a cliff backdrop for it.

And the flowers! Orchids, broom, innumerable others...glorious. The way down was shorter than the way up, through a pine plantation. In the end we were so glad that we did this part today, and not having to rush past it tomorrow on the longer stage into Burgos. A double room at the very comfortable Pension Hermanos Gutiérez was 40€ (the very friendly guy at the desk told us a single is 30).

Tomorrow Burgos, where we part: Sabine has to go home and I'll continue onward on the Frances for a ways before jumping ahead to walk the Invierno. We both agree that this camino is special! And I have been seriously blessed by her company - it has been such a joy.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Day 11. Briviesca to La Brujula, about 24km.
This camino never fails to surprise.

We intended to stop at the albergue in Monasterio, but could not (see below), so are tucked up in a pension again. That was the first surprise of the day.

The second surprise of the day was the glorious 3.7 from Monasterio to La Brujula.

Up until all that happened we were having an unremarkable day. We left Briviesca late because I had packed my camera and had a wee panic after breakfast before finding it in tbe bottom of my pack. Mindfulness is necessary. And Sabine has the patience of a saint.

So then off we went, up the valley from Briviesca - the day was a gradual and almost imperceptable incline until the end, when it was steeper. Unlike yesterday, we mostly stayed in the valley, for the first part, following the roads and railway, sometimes close and sometimes farther away.

The views may have been unremarkable but there were many small botanical joys: always the poppies and the blue spikes of Echium, as well as morning glories, rape, and the soft drifts of poplar seeds underfoot.

There are some sadly decaying towns here, and there was only one open bar in Quintanavides (the sign said open 12 Noon every day). When Sabine got to Monasterio (well before me so I leave it to her to post pics), lo and behold the wife of the mayor who came to open the albergue told us nothing at all is open in the town on Tuesdays. No bar, no tienda, no nada.

So as it was still pretty early and we had no food on us besides a package of chocolate cookies and some nuts, we shouldered our packs and headed to the roadside pension at La Brujula, where there is a full service cafeteria.

Surprise number 2 came after the very special Ermita de Nuesta Señora de Valle: the path went up and over a hill, and we were walking with stunning views all around on a carpet of wildflowers. To the South, in front of us, was the Sierra de la Demanda, and far to the Northeast we could see the gap in the mountains at Pancorbo. Behind us, above the Ermita - wow! - was a folded hunk of rock creating a cliff backdrop for it.

And the flowers! Orchids, broom, innumerable others...glorious. The way down was shorter than the way up, through a pine plantation. In the end we were so glad that we did this part today, and not having to rush past it tomorrow on the longer stage into Burgos. A double room at the very comfortable Pension Hermanos Gutiérez was 40€ (the very frien0dly guy at the desk told us a single is 30).

Tomorrow Burgos, where we part: Sabine has to go home and I'll continue onward on the Frances for a ways before jumping ahead to walk the Invierno. We both agree that this camino is special! And I have been seriously blessed by her company - it has been such a joy.
You have many gifts, VNwalking: not least, descriptive powers, and an eye for photos. Thank you. You will miss Sabine, but each of you will have a store of wonderful memories for the foreseeable future! Thanks for having shared so much with all here.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
There was also a bar open in Santa Ollala de Bureba called la Cantina. Befriended a lovely old dog there.
Nice Camino sculpture on the bar's wall.

And some pics of walking into Monasterio de Rodilla from the right through the village.
 

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chinacat

Veteran Member
You have many gifts, VNwalking: not least, descriptive powers, and an eye for photos. Thank you. You will miss Sabine, but each of you will have a store of wonderful memories for the foreseeable future! Thanks for having shared so much with all here.
Definitely agree with this!

You are gifted, VN, both in your writing and your photography skills.
You words are ‘visual’ ... you create pictures with words; and you are a natural when it comes to ‘composition’ and sharing the beauty of your surroundings, through your camera lens.

Thank you both for this wonderful thread 😊

... and for sharing the blessing of your camino companionship.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
There was also a bar open in Santa Ollala de Bureba called la Cantina. Befriended a lovely old dog there.
Nice Camino sculpture on the bar's wall.

And some pics of walking into Monasterio de Rodilla from the right through the village.
Sabine, I have no doubt it will be a bittersweet leave you take tomorrow, but I guess you will catch your plane, make your homeward journey, and slip quietly back into your 'normal' routine. Buen Camino, Chica!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Vasco was not on my radar at all. I thought I was hoping for either a winter Frances or spring Lana. Now I just don’t know, but it does seem to be worth waiting for spring.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Finito!
The surprises did not stop yesterday.
No-one said anything about a very well preserved section of a calzada romana, complete with interpretive displays.

The way today was almost all on gravel and well away from any roads until right at the edge of Burgos, where the camino comes in very near to the Rosa de Lima train station. But other than that, just open countryside. Wonderful walking!

Once downtown we treated ourselves to pizza before going our separate ways. (It was super, but we walked all this way for pizza?)
 

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SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Gracias, @chinacat !
And those were fantastic pizzas. Calle San Lazaro...Sabine, please help me with the name. It started with 'C'.
Pizzeria la Competencia!
Also one in Leon btw.

I wandered through Burgos and got my last sello at the Cathedral.
Must say I was overwhelmed by all the pilgrims seeing the two of us met so few on our journey..
Went to Zara for clothes and had some pintxos. Although not bad they cannot compete with the Basque cuisine but I am prejudiced.

More thoughts later when I am home and have access to a laptop.
But most important : walking with @VNwalking is pure joy! Gracias!!
 

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chinacat

Veteran Member

A wonderful photograph of these iconic trees, Sabine! 🥰

We inadvertently spent quite a lot of time in Burgos ...
We walked across the bridge, through the caparisoned horses on the day of the El Cid festival ... breathtaking!
We also spent rather a lot of time in the little street of tapas bars, near the Cathedral .. 😋😎
We never found Zara, but we did find its sale shop, where we bought some clothes for our first grandchild/nephew. (We had gone back to Burgos, and knew we were returning home, on the strict instructions of the doctor in the A&E (ER?) dept. 😕)
And that hat store ...unless there are more than one, that’s where my daughter spent hours choosing a hat for herself 🙂

We celebrated my birthday there, too ... in a wholefood veggie restaurant, which didn’t open its doors until about 10pm!
(Coincidentally, I am wearing the scarf she bought in Burgos, and gave me as a birthday present ❤)

@SabineP ... Love that photo of the Cathedral, too!
It’s so huge, I found it difficult to capture all of it at once.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Finito!
The surprises did not stop yesterday.
No-one said anything about a very well preserved section of a calzada romana, complete with interpretive displays.
...
I could've posted photos of all the flechas through windmills section and the Calzada Romana too but what surprise would I left for you then? ;)

Happy that you both enjoyed this Camino. Not one of my favourites but nevertheless very nice.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Always interesting to see that a bus takes you in three hours and a half from Burgos to Irun and it took us 12 days of walking.
We stopped in various towns where we stayed and I now saw it from a different perspective.
Did my good deed of the day and helped an American pilgrim finding her way. Ha, finally @VNwalking 's influence rubbed off on me. I now can also read maps ...;)
Night in Irun and tomorrow a 2k. walk to the French border where I will take the HST to Belgium.
 

Maggie5859

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primitivo, Sevilla, Sanabres, Via Augusta, Finisterre, Muxia
Always interesting to see that a bus takes you in three hours and a half from Burgos to Irun and it took us 12 days of walking.
We stopped in various towns where we stayed and I now saw it from a different perspective.
Did my good deed of the day and helped an American pilgrim finding her way. Ha, finally @VNwalking 's influence rubbed off on me. I now can also read maps ...;)
Night in Irun and tomorrow a 2k. walk to the French border where I will take the HST to Belgium.
Hello! We have a mutual friend, Nuala. I love how caminos connect people. Well done on your walk💐. I have a question for you. Where did you get the guide for this route?
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Hello! We have a mutual friend, Nuala. I love how caminos connect people. Well done on your walk💐. I have a question for you. Where did you get the guide for this route?
A small world indeed. I used the Gronze website but my compagnon used some good wikiloc routes from different former pilgrims, also the ones rayrosa published and the publication from the CSJ .

This Camino is well waymarked though except for some two or three times there might be discussion.
 
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alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005, 2007; Madrid/Frances 2011; 1/2 VdP 2012; Portugese Litoral2019; Finisterre/Muxia2019;
Vira, I'm so happy you decided to write on your camino; both the narrative and photos were spectacular. I think you've decided my camino for 2021 for me! All the best for the rest of your walk, Allison
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Now I'm back home and have access to my laptop ( typing on a cellphone is just not for me ) I have the time to write down some of my thoughts about this Camino.

It was my first Camino with a fellow pilgrim so I was a bit nervous to start. Not that I had any doubts about @VNwalking but more about myself.
I know I can be a bit stressed time to time and have the tendency to be a tad too nervous for my own good. On the good side you could say I'm also rather energetic too...;)

VN is just perfect with her patience, eye for detail and her incredible map reading skills!
I think I made our Camino a bit more easy with my Spanish language skills which made us quicker to communicate in the towns and / or find the keys in the local albergue/ ordering a menu del dia.

Very important when walking with someone else and for when you are not able to sleep in albergues all the time : do not be afraid to talk about money and how much you want to spend.
We both calculated that this Camino would be somewhat more expensive than Caminos where you can find more albergues.

Now the people : the people of Pais Vasco. The most generous and friendly people I encountered on any Camino!
Sending us in the right direction or giving us spontaneous tips regarding good local restaurants. Lots of smiles and encouragement too.

Now the food : the FOOD!
You will never again want a mediocre pilgrim's menu from the Camino Frances when you have walked the Vasco Interior.
A menu del dia was always available. Do not be afraid to go into a truckstop restaurant or a roadside place that does not look much from the outside. It is in the dining room that the action is. Always follow the locals. Always.
And the restaurants always tried to adapt their menu to vegetarians by for instance giving two starters.

The albergues :
Beasain , a donativo in the old restored mill next to the river.
Generous hospis at the time whom were doing their last day there and would go to a more lively albergue on the Norte.
We were only four pilgrims. So they put us ladies in a different room then the guys.

Salvatierra: the albergue municipal where you have to collect the keys at the local sportshall. Very clean and had all the comfort. 5€.

La Pueble de Arganzon : another muni , again with all the basic facilities. Nice people at the townhall. Donativo. And a somewhat special hospitalero called Vicente whose only occupation seems to be sitting in one the two bars on the plaza waiting for pilgrims.

Briviesca : 6€. You go to the Oficina de Turismo or the Policia Local and they will call Señor Carlos. He will guide you to the albergue. In a complex of anonymous flats the town has one appartment as the albergue.
A very nice hospi who is very generous with his detailed info regarding the Camino.
The electricity of the place is somewhat dodgy.

The albergues we did not go to :

Pancorbo , we were there so early and found the bar where we had to collect the key closed. We chose a hostal there.

Zegama : we heard from a fellow pilgrim it was a horrid place. Part of the local schoolgym and for the toilet and bathroom you had to go outside to another part of the building.

And then somewhat a dissapointment because we heard such good things about the municipal in Monasterio de Rodilla. But both bars and restaurants are closed on the same day, the Tuesday we were there. And no tienda or panaderia anymore which is worse for the locals than for a pilgrim. The wife of the mayor who came with the keys was obviously a bit sad how this small town is rapidly getting depopulated.
She recommended us to go three k. further to a hostal which was actually a good advice because it made the walking into Burgos the next day less hard.

Conclusion : please do think about this gorgeous small Camino. It will not dissapoint. Trust me!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Now I'm back home and have access to my laptop ( typing on a cellphone is just not for me ) I have the time to write down some of my thoughts about this Camino.

It was my first Camino with a fellow pilgrim so I was a bit nervous to start. Not that I had any doubts about @VNwalking but more about myself.
I know I can be a bit stressed time to time and have the tendency to be a tad too nervous for my own good. On the good side you could say I'm also rather energetic too...;)

VN is just perfect with her patience, eye for detail and her incredible map reading skills!
I think I made our Camino a bit more easy with my Spanish language skills which made us quicker to communicate in the towns and / or find the keys in the local albergue/ ordering a menu del dia.

Very important when walking with someone else and for when you are not able to sleep in albergues all the time : do not be afraid to talk about money and how much you want to spend.
We both calculated that this Camino would be somewhat more expensive than Caminos where you can find more albergues.

Now the people : the people of Pais Vasco. The most generous and friendly people I encountered on any Camino!
Sending us in the right direction or giving us spontaneous tips regarding good local restaurants. Lots of smiles and encouragement too.

Now the food : the FOOD!
You will never again want a mediocre pilgrim's menu from the Camino Frances when you have walked the Vasco Interior.
A menu del dia was always available. Do not be afraid to go into a truckstop restaurant or a roadside place that does not look much from the outside. It is in the dining room that the action is. Always follow the locals. Always.
And the restaurants always tried to adapt their menu to vegetarians by for instance giving two starters.

The albergues :
Beasain , a donativo in the old restored mill next to the river.
Generous hospis at the time whom were doing their last day there and would go to a more lively albergue on the Norte.
We were only four pilgrims. So they put us ladies in a different room than the guys.

Salvatierra: the albergue municipal where you have to collect the keys at the local sportshall. Very clean and had all the comfort. 5€.

La Pueble de Arganzon : another muni , again with all the basic facilities. Nice people at the townhall. Donativo. And a somewhat special hospitalero called Vicente whose only occupation seems to be sitting in one the two bars on the plaza waiting for pilgrims.

Briviesca : 6€. You go to the Oficina de Turismo or the Policia Local and they will call Señor Carlos. He will guide you to the albergue. In a complex of anonymous flats the town has one appartment as the albergue.
A very nice hospi who is very generous with his detailed info regarding the Camino.
The electricity of the place is somewhat dodgy.

The albergues we did not go to :

Pancorbo , we were there so early and found the bar where we had to collect the key closed. We chose a hostal there.

Zegama : we heard from a fellow pilgrim it was a horrid place. Part of the local schoolgym and for the toilet and bathroom you had to go outside to another part of the building.

And then somewhat a dissapointment because we heard such good things about the municipal in Monasterio de Rodilla. But both bars and restaurants are closed on the same day, the Tuesday we were there. And no tienda or panaderia anymore which is worse for the locals than for a pilgrim. The wife of the mayor who came with the keys was obviously a bit sad how this small town is rapidly getting depopulated.
She recommended us to go three k. further to a hostal which was actually a good advice because it made the walking into Burgos the next day less hard.

Conclusion : please do think about this gorgeous small Camino. It will not dissapoint. Trust me!
Thank you so much Sabine for your post and glad you and VN had such a wonderful time
I've already bookmarked all the posts from your thread hoping we can walk this wonderful Camino in the not too distant future
Best wishes
Annette
 

Maggie5859

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primitivo, Sevilla, Sanabres, Via Augusta, Finisterre, Muxia
Thank you so much Sabine for your post and glad you and VN had such a wonderful time
I've already bookmarked all the posts from your thread hoping we can walk this wonderful Camino in the not too distant future
Best wishes
Annette
Thanks for your report! So full of useful info. Thank-you for taking the time.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I so loved walkjng with Sabine.
She noticed things I didn't, she always had a keen eye for culture and food, and her stellar language skills made it possible to deal with things that would have been impossible otherwise.
Gracias a todo, camiga!

It will take a while to digest the whole journey, and I'm still on the middle of it. But there's no doubt this was for me a 5 star camino, in spite of the more urban days 2 and 3.
I said the other day it was the best camino yet, but after day 1 on the Invierno...well, the jury's out. ;)
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Sabine might have been dancing, but I was more like a tortoise with its head half pulled in. Same look on my face too. ;)
VN was magic when going downhill! Wow... Whereas I loved the uphill parts.
I never saw the need before of walking with a walking pole but that first day with all those rocky parts I was convinced so I bought one in Tolosa!
I was more than relieved that VN lended me one of her sticks for parts on that first etapa.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I just went back through these wonderful posts. If the stars align next year, I hope to walk from Alicante to Burgos on the Lana. I am thinking it would be a good opportunity, once I arrive in Burgos, for me to walk these last few stages of the Vasco. I went via Santo Domingo de la Calzada, which worked great for me, but I always felt the tug that your pictures of Pancorbo exerted on me! Should I start in Miranda, or would you recommend that I find my way back to Puebla de Arganzón or the split in Estavilla?
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
@peregrina2000 : Walk out of La Puebla is quite straightforward next to the complete empty N1. There is lots of asphalt on this stretch though. After Rivabellosa the camino follows some nice tracks through meadows. The last part into Miranda de Ebro was rather muddy when we walked it.

La Puebla de Arganzon is a wonderful pueblo and I hope you will find the church open.

Seeing I did not walk the Tunel route to Salvatierra the etapa from Miranda de Ebro to Pancorbo was my Vasco highlight!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Oh, Laurie, you'd love it!
Sabine's advice is great. I would add the Iglesia del Espiritu Santo In Miranda de Ebro. It was both welcoming and historic (although heavily restored).
Also in Miranda de Ebro was a wonderful restaurant, one of my favorites of this camino:

I'd be starting in Puebla de Arlanzon as it's easily reached by train, in order to close the circle.
Right after that split there was Arminon, a lovely town with an old bridge - followed by a roman road headed straight up the hill towards MdE (but without the cobbles; it was quite nice walking). Mud aside, the walk into MdE from the VdB/Vasco split was very nice, once you get past the freeway (which is very soon).
And then the walk to Pancorbo? Oh la la.
My three favorite things on the VdB?:
1. The Tunel San Adrian
2. Pancorbo, and the walk up to it. If you want to do some serious hill walking, a day here would really be worth it.
3. The amazing stretch from Monasterio do Rodilla to Brujala (make sure you look back as you walk up the hill after the beautiful ermita) - and then the Roman road after that, on the way into Burgos.
(That was four things, actually, all equally wonderful in their own ways...well, it was a glorious walk.)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I just went back through these wonderful posts. If the stars align next year, I hope to walk from Alicante to Burgos on the Lana. I am thinking it would be a good opportunity, once I arrive in Burgos, for me to walk these last few stages of the Vasco. I went via Santo Domingo de la Calzada, which worked great for me, but I always felt the tug that your pictures of Pancorbo exerted on me! Should I start in Miranda, or would you recommend that I find my way back to Puebla de Arganzón or the split in Estavilla?
I can second the above suggestions. I'd say return to Estavillo and no matter what walk the Bayona to Burgos in its entirety. So many beautiful stretches. And of course the stage to Pancorbo sticks out big time.

I remember when I was on Bayona in 2016 you were walking Ruta del Ebro and in Miranda del Ebro I sent my good wishes down the river :D
If you want to see an old synagogue in MdE (carved into the rock) I can provide more exact info on location etc. I also have photos. It's actually in the private albergue house on the other side of the river (older and smaller part of MdE) just some 20 meters off the Camino.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
If you want to see an old synagogue in MdE (carved into the rock) I can provide more exact info on location etc. I also have photos.
Thank you, K1, for reminding me about this! It was right next to the Pension that Sabine and I stayed in.
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Should I post the pics of the interior? Lady owner and myself got a bit tipsy at the bar during quite long conversation about just everything (although it was closed that day) and then she decided to show me the synagoge interior. Or shall I wait until next year so Laurie could see it with her own eyes? :D
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I am studying this route for October. Since I'll be with my daughters on a tight timeline, I am thinking about jumping ahead a day at the beginning, to make sure that we can then walk uninterrupted to Burgos. Your descriptions convince me that I want to go to Burgos rather than Sto Domingo.

Depending on how jetlagged we (mainly me) feel, I am considering whether to start from Irun, or maybe take the train to San Sebasian and then the bus to start in Astigarraga. But I'm a little confused about whether it is the first day (to Astigarraga) or second (to Tolosa or thereabouts) that is a bit tedious. It doesn't matter a lot, because I accept tedious, but it would be nice to know :) on our first day - my daughters' first day walking in Spain, too.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this?
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
As my forum history tells I like to mess with the mods and Laurie is one of them ;)

The story behind the Juderia as I remember is that the ayuntamiento didn't take care of it at all and it was slowly decaying. The lady owner (forgot her name but I'm sure I put it down in my notes if anyone interested) told me that eventually they rented it but they shouldn't change anything that's historically important. Now they are using it for large groups, parties etc. which was quite sad fact for me. I'm not a religious person in ordinary meaning of the word but having bunch of drunken folks in former medieval synagogue is just a no-no for me. Or any other (ex)religious building for that matter. Although the owner is fun and very nice she's just trying to make a living I guess and part of this is obviously ignorance as well. Not to mention the ayuntamiento that didn't do anything to really protect the place and made it a museum maybe. Well, here it is...

I won't post these photos as full images so Laurie can skip them :D

1: the street in which the pension and juderia are. The Camino comes from left (across the bridge) and goes in opposite direction to the spot where I was standing taking the photo,
2: pension (6€ for single bed in a room with 4 beds, shared bathroom and the key to freely come and go),
3: plaque on the street,
4: plaque inside,
5: the owner of pension,
6: star of David encarved in the stone,
7-10: interior.

I'm sorry for the quality of the photos but I only had my phone on me at the time of invitation...
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I am studying this route for October. Since I'll be with my daughters on a tight timeline, I am thinking about jumping ahead a day at the beginning, to make sure that we can then walk uninterrupted to Burgos. Your descriptions convince me that I want to go to Burgos rather than Sto Domingo.

Depending on how jetlagged we (mainly me) feel, I am considering whether to start from Irun, or maybe take the train to San Sebasian and then the bus to start in Astigarraga. But I'm a little confused about whether it is the first day (to Astigarraga) or second (to Tolosa or thereabouts) that is a bit tedious. It doesn't matter a lot, because I accept tedious, but it would be nice to know :) on our first day - my daughters' first day walking in Spain, too.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this?
If you will be on really tight schedule and want to skip Bayonne - Astigarraga you'll also skip the most memorable part at Santiagomendi with beautiful view over San Sebastian. So if you have to skip that part then I suggest you go further directly to Andoain (both bus and train connections from Irun and SS). Astigarraga - Andoain is very pedestrianised, walking mostly on tarmac and bici path. But not noisy and with a lot of greenery.

Happy planning :)
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
the most memorable part at Santiagomendi with beautiful view over San Sebastian.
Thanks for your comments - that's what I'm looking for. Actually I think the bus goes to Santiagomendi, so we would walk 3 km to Astigarraga. Would we get that view?
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Thanks, K1. So I'm confused. The pension and the juderia are run by that same lady? I had no idea or I'd have asked to see it...

But I'm a little confused about whether it is the first day (to Astigarraga) or second (to Tolosa or thereabouts) that is a bit tedious.
The first day is anything but tedious. Very up and down, but not at all tedious.
It''s once you get to Astigarraga that it's flat and on bike paths from one town to another (and they are pretty closely spaced). One positive thing, though, is the food - which is wonderful. And I really liked Tolosa and Beasain.

If it were me, wanting to walk it again but short on time? I'd start in either Tolosa or Beasain. Both are easily reached on the train. That gives you a continuous walk, and some sense of the valley you're walking out of to get to the tunnel and plains of Alava.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
hanks for your comments - that's what I'm looking for. Actually I think the bus goes to Santiagomendi, so we would walk 3 km to Astigarraga. Would we get that view?
Yup, exactly the place.
(Edit - as you know, Sabine and I started in Irun. We took 12 comfortable days which could easily be collapsed into 11. 10 is the usual Gornze staging, but it's possible to break it up if any of the stages are a stretch.)
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Thanks for your comments - that's what I'm looking for. Actually I think the bus goes to Santiagomendi, so we would walk 3 km to Astigarraga. Would we get that view?
From the Santiagomendi church you would definitely get that view but I doubt very much that bus from Irun to Astigarraga (or Andoain) goes through Santiagomendi. I mean Santiagomendi is a church, an albergue and few scattered houses up on the hill above the valley where all the transport goes. I definitely didn't see any buses up there and even cars were rare.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Thanks, K1. So I'm confused. The pension and the juderia are run by that same lady? I had no idea or I'd have asked to see it...

The first day is anything but tedious. Very up and down, but not at all tedious.
You are not confused. You got my message right, the lady run the juderia also. And one more place (pizzeria I think) back over the river in the newer part of MdE.

To be exact if we are talking about Via de Bayona... The first day (or two for me) is flatflatflat from Bayonne to Biarritz/Ciboure/Irun ;)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
To be exact if we are talking about Via de Bayona... The first day (or two for me) is flatflatflat from Bayonne to Biarritz/Ciboure/Irun ;)
Yeah, yeah, K1. ;) Well, I wasn't walking the Via de Bayona until the turn-off to Miranda de Ebro. ;):cool::p
I'd already walked much of the way from Irun to Bayonne in reverse, so my first day was out of Irun. Sorry to confuse, @C clearly.

I mean Santiagomendi is a church, an albergue and few scattered houses up on the hill above the valley where all the transport goes.
The church was up and to the right of the road, and that's where most of the view is. I'd be surprised if the bus went there, but who knows?

Looking online didn't particularly enlighten me about that, but I did find this:
Interesting!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Though I walked most of the way from Irún to Orio-Lasarte in heavy rain, I would agree with @VN that it is really lovely. Orio-Lasarte itself is not a jewel, but the food is good and we had a decent hotel.

And I agree that it’s hard to figure out where a bus would stop in Santiagomendi, because it is really not a town, at least not what we saw.

Also, there are commuter trains that get pretty far out into the Vasco, which you could start on in Irún or San Sebastian. That would be a good option as well, but I am not sure where you are landing. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cercanías_San_Sebastián#/media/File:Renfe_aldiriak_donostia.svg

Lucky you, @C clearly to have a camino in your near future!

Loved the synagogue pictures. I don’t mind seeing pictures of places before I walk there, so you will have to think of another way to torment me, K1. 😄
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I doubt very much that bus from Irun to Astigarraga (or Andoain) goes through Santiagomendi.
Yes, I'm looking again at my notes and think I got it wrong.
We took 12 comfortable days which could easily be collapsed into 11.
We have 11 days to get from Irun to Burgos. I am just trying to build in a day of ease, but still allow half a day to explore Vitoria/Gasteiz. That's why using a bus at the start might be helpful. Perhaps I'll look into a bus from Astigarraga to Tolosa - on day 2. Then, we can judge how energetic we feel on day 2, and decide if we need to jump ahead. I don't want to be doing that later in the walk, if I can avoid it.
 
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C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
there are commuter trains that get pretty far out into the Vasco, which you could start on in Irún or San Sebastian. That would be a good option as well, but I am not sure where you are landing.
That link is very helpful. I really like the idea of walking Irun to Astigarraga on Day 1, to get started. Then on Day 2 walk to Hernani and take the Cercanias to Tolosa or Alegia. Then walk the next 9 days to Burgos. The commuter train, industries, towns, etc., are part of the adventure.
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Yes, I'm looking again at my notes and think I got it wrong.

We have 11 days to get from Irun to Burgos. I am just trying to build in a day of ease, but still allow half a day to explore Vitoria/Gasteiz. That's why using a bus at the start might be helpful. Perhaps I'll look into a bus from Astibarraga to Tolosa - on day 2. Then, we can judge how energetic we feel on day 2, and decide if we need to jump ahead. I don't want to be doing that later in the walk, if I can avoid it.
You can easily skip the part from Astigarraga to Tolosa (or even Beasain) on behalf of additional day in Vitoria/Gasteiz. As said before nice green hills but walking is almost al the time on pavement and bici tracks. But you definitely don't want to skip albergue in Beasain believe me!!!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
That link is very helpful. I really like the idea of walking Irun to Astigarraga on Day 1, to get started. Then on Day 2 walk to Hernani and take the Cercanias to Tolosa or Alegia. Then walk the next 9 days to Burgos. The commuter train, industries, towns, etc., are part of the variety of Spain.
You may as well skip Astigarraga - Hernani. I think that's even the worst part of Bayona. Or maybe walk Hernani - Andoain. That's much better.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Some impressions from Haro. Last night.
Was here on a regular holidays years ago and was happy to see the same wonderful pintxosbars are still going strong.
My favourite being Los Caños!
Alun and I stopped for a coffee in Haro, and I have to say I thought that the “locals” were kind of disdainful. No help with the route out of town, no service at an outdoor café. Maybe they are just used to much higher end visitors. We finally left the Plaza Mayor and were resigned to walking on without coffee, but found a place in a plaza where someone actually came to ask us what we wanted!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
You may as well skip Astigarraga - Hernani. I think that's even the worst part of Bayona.
OK. I just didn't see the train stopping in Astigarraga. I'll look further into those details.

I am really starting to get comfortable and excited with this plan now. Thanks!
 

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