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LIVE from the Camino Unfinished business on the Ebro

2020 Camino Guides

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
4 years ago I walked from the estuary of the Ebro up to Gallur. This year I've jumped down from the Aragonés to Logroño in order to do the four northern days I missed along the river, once again turning west and heading along the Castellano-Aragonés through lovely Soria to Santo Domingo de Silos.

I arrived in Logroño on a holiday Saturday morning, with a big society wedding about to happen, so there were many elegant and well-dressed (and perhaps a few over-dressed) people in the town centre.

Logroño to Arrúbal

The Ruta del Ebro joins, or in my case (and anybody doing the Ignaciano route) leaves the Francés by the Puente de Piedra. Then through some quite pretty parks and riverside walks until, sadly, you find yourself sandwiched between a motorway and a railway line, eventually reaching Agoncillo, a non-descript town whose truck stop, by serving excellent food, has managed to survive the motorway bypassing the town. A very pleasant menú del día, washed down with a fruity local white, served by charming waitresses, with at least 50 other customers managing to create a wonderful holiday weekend din.

And then only an hour on to Arrúbal. The local church, mostly 17th century and later, has an unusual irregular hexagonal tower, on top of which I saw my first stork's nest of this camino. The alcaldesa, who also has the keys of the albergue, kindly showed me inside. Nothing particularly special except for a gorgeous probably 12th century font, which Nieves assumed came from a previous church on the same site - the village at one time belonged to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña. The albergue is outstanding: 20+ (bunk) beds, an excellent properly equipped kitchen, several showers etc, and a comfortable sitting room. All for 5€.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Arrúbal to Calahorra

A bar in the village was open at first light (8am), and then back to the river. Deep green and wide. There was a brisk northerly wind, which made the Ebro look as if it was flowing upstream. Briefly you pass underneath a sheer 100m cliff, with noisy vultures for company, but mostly it's flat. 10-12km later, at Alcanadre, smartly dressed children were heading to church for a first communion service, and there are the remains of a Roman aqueduct, as well as more modern water channels and canals to irrigate the fertile plain.

Then more flat, flat, flat, all the way to Calahorra. After the sometimes severe ups and downs of the Aragonés, being able to stick in 5th gear for hours at a time made quite a change. Calahorra did not greatly appeal. Its baroque church of Santiago was, to my taste, almost aggressively unattractive, with "shapeless sculpture decked" of Santiago peregrino. The cathedral was an improvement, but surrounded by collapsing houses. As I was coming out of it I met the charming parroco who introduced himself "soy Ignacio pero no Santo" and gave me some useful advice about the road ahead and where to find mass in Alfaro. When I asked him about the dilapidated state of the neighbourhood, he shrugged slightly and said that most people preferred to move to the new air-conditioned houses and flats at the other end of town. Understandable if sad.

There is an albergue in Calahorra, close to the cathedral but, due to a misunderstanding, I thought it was closed, so stayed in a hotel in the town centre. Near to a series of quite attractive water sculptures and fountains, and not far from the old Jewish quarter. Looking downstream at dusk, I thought I could just make out the blue remembered outline of the majestic bulk of the Moncayo massif far off in the distance.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Calahorra to Alfaro

Yesterday's breeze vanished, and unfortunately meant that the flies came out. Although my "Findpenguins" app told me that it was 7c and pleasantly cool on setting off, with the full moon setting behind me an the sun rising ahead, it soon got quite hot and there was virtually no shade all day. Past asparagus, maize, pear trees, apples ready for harvest and, of course, vines. At one point, as the mechanical harvester had left many pears rotting by the road, I picked one up to eat: juicy, sweet, slightly spongy and almost entirely without flavour - presumably for the English market.

Near Alfaro the Aragón river, my friend from its source, joins the Ebro. A river that gave its name to a kingdom joining one that named a peninsula. Alfaro is a delightful town, and it claims that its collegiata has the largest colony of storks of any building in the world. Sadly I was too late for @SabineP 's recommendation, but had a very good menú del día in the nearby Los Faroles, including the local speciality of a Ruso pastry personally made for Tsar Alexander II. Bit too sweet for me.

The albergue is another outstanding one, a town house next to the local police, with great kitchen, comfortable sitting room and three bedrooms with a couple of bunks each, donativo. Too much tarmac today, and not enough shade, but so it goes.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Day after tomorrow you most probably will end in Gallur. Wonderful albergue in the old trainstation. Some noise from freight trains in the night but overall a nice place.
Lovely hospis who mind the bar ( some good tapas).
Absolutely recommend Restaurante El Colono for a hearty menu del dia.
 
Camino(s) past & future
French route (04,05,06,18) Portugues (07) VDLP (09,10,11) Aragon (4,13) Levante (16) Ebro (19)
The Ebro is my favourite camino, Peregrina2000! Mind you, I haven't done them all yet!
I walked as far as Logrono, where it joins the French camino. Maybe one day I'll walk a little further, but age is having its effect on me :( !!
Where did you start? I walked from Zaragoza to Logroño in late May in 9 days and saw to Ignacio pilgrims walking to Loyola.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Alfaro to Tudela

Another day with almost no shade. And a lot of tarmac. Moncayo is coming closer, so soon I will be back in beautiful Soria, and away from the flat. The mountain was spectacular at first light, with thin white clouds round the heights, making it look as if it was covered in snow already. Other than that, it was a bit of a slog, and I don't think there was a single town or fuente between the two, something like 22km apart. Certainly I was short of water by the end, as the unseasonably warm weather continues.

Tudela is Navarre's second city, and the municipality has kindly planted a km long avenue of trees to give shade for the final approach to town, passing close to a giant statue of Christ. Given that it is notoriously thirsty, I was surprised to see some copper beeches included, but as an irrigation canal runs close by the avenue, perhaps they'll be fine. At the edge of town is a statue to the unknown artichoke cutter.

The first significant building in town is the 12th century Santa María Magdalena, with a glorious portico, and a bit further on is the huge cathedral, a jumble of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance, with another impressive portico and a Romanesque cloister.

That was the end of my time on the Ebro, as I headed west on a vía verde to join the Castellano-Aragonés at Tarazona.


DSC_0576.JPG
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Day after tomorrow you most probably will end in Gallur. Wonderful albergue in the old trainstation. Some noise from freight trains in the night but overall a nice place.
Lovely hospis who mind the bar ( some good tapas).
Absolutely recommend Restaurante El Colono for a hearty menu del dia.
Sabine, your recommendation to me was brilliant years ago, and I hope Alan gets to enjoy a great meal there too!
 

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've been traveling and so had to catch up on three days of walking in one gulp; good thing it was flat.
What I would give... has to be one of my favorite caminos ever.
The Ebro, the C-A, or the Aragones?
Its baroque church of Santiago was, to my taste, almost aggressively unattractive
Any Baroque is a devolution from the gorgeous Gothic or beautifully spare Romanesque - it is such a pity that the facade of the Cathedral in Santiago was 'improved.' (Horrors, I know, as people in Spain seem to be sentimental about it...but that some of Maestro Mateo's beautiful work ended up as fill for the Baroque edifice is very sad.)
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I've been traveling and so had to catch up on three days of walking in one gulp; good thing it was flat.
The Ebro, the C-A, or the Aragones?
Any Baroque is a devolution from the gorgeous Gothic or beautifully spare Romanesque - it is such a pity that the facade of the Cathedral in Santiago was 'improved.' (Horrors, I know, as people in Spain seem to be sentimental about it...but that some of Maestro Mateo's beautiful work ended up as fill for the Baroque edifice is very sad.)
VN, The Castellano-Aragonés is close to the top of favorite caminos ever. I can’t think of any I enjoyed more. Just wait till Alan starts posting his days from Gallur. And this is Alan’s SECOND time on this camino unless I’ve missed something, so you know it has to be special. You would love it, I am sure of that.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
VN, The Castellano-Aragonés is close to the top of favorite caminos ever. I can’t think of any I enjoyed more. Just wait till Alan starts posting his days from Gallur. And this is Alan’s SECOND time on this camino unless I’ve missed something, so you know it has to be special. You would love it, I am sure of that.

Just to be sure. Is the Castellano-Aragonés the same as the Camino Soriana? Not very clear for me.


@alansykes : Tudela is just a gorgeous town. On my top five list of most interesting smaller cities in Spain.
 

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)
Just wait till Alan starts posting his days from Gallur. And this is Alan’s SECOND time on this camino unless I’ve missed something, so you know it has to be special. You would love it, I am sure of that.
I remember those posts from Alan's first time...they got me walking from SDdS to Burgos, and oh what a gorgeius walk that was! But I was too chicken to start farther afield.
Well, Alan, I"m definitely looking forward to your posts this time...
Because I'm not as chicken as I was then.
 
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