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Up the river -- Ruta del Ebro 2015

Santiago Photo Book

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Tonight I stay in San Jaume d'Enveja, where Santiago is believed to have left Spain for the last time. I hope to follow the Ebro northwards for a couple of 100 miles, then across Soria's campo undulado, past Santo Domingo de Silos, on to Burgos, over the hills, preferably passing Fontibre, so I can see the river's source as well as its estuary, and on to the coast, continuing by the Norte. Ideally ending up in Padrón, where Santiago's body is said to have returned to Spain.

We shall see.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Tonight I stay in San Jaume d'Enveja, where Santiago is believed to have left Spain for the last time. I hope to follow the Ebro northwards for a couple of 100 miles, then across Soria's campo undulado, past Santo Domingo de Silos, on to Burgos, over the hills, preferably passing Fontibre, so I can see the river's source as well as its estuary, and on to the coast, continuing by the Norte. Ideally ending up in Padrón, where Santiago's body is said to have returned to Spain.

We shall see.
Wish you a nice Camino and please keep us posted how it goes, Alan!

Ultreia!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
OH, wow, Alan, is this an official Guardian trip or are you on your own? Know that your readership on the forum is just as adoring and hangs on your every word, so keep us posted. This camino is also on my list, I love the idea of walking to Santo Domingo de Silos. What are you using as a guidebook, if anything? Buen camino to you, Laurie
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
OH, wow, Alan, is this an official Guardian trip or are you on your own? Know that your readership on the forum is just as adoring and hangs on your every word, so keep us posted. This camino is also on my list, I love the idea of walking to Santo Domingo de Silos. What are you using as a guidebook, if anything? Buen camino to you, Laurie
Just for pleasure. No guidebook for the first time, which is nervous-making, so relying on Peter Robbins' maps as well as Stephen Nicholls and "ramblanista" from this forum who, between them, have walked most of the way from the coast to Gallur, and warned of possible problems. And zinaztli, a bicigrino, has done a great blog of Gallur to Burgos. Thereafter mostly busking it, although I may go backwards on your olvidado wikiloc trail for a couple of days around Reinosa.

The coast to Tortosa has been a good day, if flat. Now happily installed in surprising comfort (en suite cells, etc) in the seminario and thinking about supper.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
IMG_20151012_123830.jpg I managed again to start my camino by swimming out of the Mediterranean. I expect my next dip, scheduled for the Cantabrian coast in November, will be a bit chillier and a bit less placid.

At Tortosa there was a tapas competition between 30 or more of the bars each trying out their speciality. I stayed alone in the huge 1950s seminario (about 2 acres of buildings and courtyards). The €15.50 price includes breakfast. I was embarrassed to find, at 8am on Sunday morning, that the charming hospitalera had got up specially to make it for me, and I ate in solitary splendour in a menjador with places for 180.

The next day and a half follows an old train line heading steadily upwards, often through quite long tunnels. Being a holiday weekend, huges amounts of lycra were about. The abandoned station near Benifallet is now a b&b and was heaving with campers enjoying good food. Today has been much lonelier, leaving the via verde at the lovely sanctuary of Fontcalda, where hot water gushes out of a canyon. Shortly afterwards the camino rises sharply through maquis-like country, passing a slightly surreal sculpture of pilgrim feet by Tàpies. Tonight, Gandesa, and tomorrow I hope to be able to visit the local museum on the battle of the Ebro, where a cousin was killed in 38.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
In the civil war song "y sabes mi paradero", a line says that, in la venta de Gandesa, the first course is hand grenades, followed by shrapnel. Fortunately the menú has improved since then, and last night I had a good soup followed by a tasty bit of merluza.

A lazy morning waiting for the museum to open, but definitely worth the delay. Excellent displays, decent interpretation, helpful staff. It must have been horrific, especially in the summer heat. Great admiration for those who left their privileged comfortable lives to go and fight and die in a foreign country - over 50 countries were represented in the International Brigade at the Ebro, which the Gandesa tourist people say was the bloodiest battle ever fought in Spain.

Then on for the short trip to Batea, a charming hill town smelling strongly of raw wine must as the recently harvested grapes are turned into delicious Terra Alta DOC.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
In the civil war song "y sabes mi paradero", a line says that, in la venta de Gandesa, the first course is hand grenades, followed by shrapnel. Fortunately the menú has improved since then, and last night I had a good soup followed by a tasty bit of merluza.

A lazy morning waiting for the museum to open, but definitely worth the delay. Excellent displays, decent interpretation, helpful staff. It must have been horrific, especially in the summer heat. Great admiration for those who left their privileged comfortable lives to go and fight and die in a foreign country - over 50 countries were represented in the International Brigade at the Ebro, which the Gandesa tourist people say was the bloodiest battle ever fought in Spain.

Then on for the short trip to Batea, a charming hill town smelling strongly of raw wine must as the recently harvested grapes are turned into delicious Terra Alta DOC.
Alan, I always love reading your posts, you have such interesting things to tell us. Your reference to "ya sabes me paradero" jogged something in my memory, and sure enough, Pete Seeger has a recording of that song!
It is a haunting song, though Seeger's version is not my favorite, but the refrain of "Tercera Brigada Mixta, Primer linea de fuego" (Third Mixed Brigade, First in the line of fire) is pretty powerful.

I once had the privilege of spending several days with a US member of the Lincoln Brigades, in fact, I was in Spain for his first return since the Civil War. It was the year after Franco died (he wouldn't return while Franco was alive), and he was the father of one of my junior year abroad students. He told many stories, had spent time in a prison near Teruel, and sadly passed away before Aznar offered Spanish citizenship to all foreigners who had fought with the Republicans. I think my fascination with the Spanish Civil War dates to that experience. The possibility of visiting this museum is a great reason to put the Camino del Ebro higher on my list!

Many thanks for keeping in touch, glad you are enjoying the wine harvest as you go. Buen camino, Laurie
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hats off to you both @alansykes & @peregrina2000 ,
I'm all through and through republicano, even walked with the flag of International Brigades (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Brigades#/media/File:Flag_of_the_International_Brigades.svg) on the front of my castro cap for last two years. Some pretty funny moments in parroquial albergues ;)
I have some family history regarding this although not around Ebro, rather around Toledo where fierce battles were also fought.

Laurie, I don't know why your link doesn't work, but here's another one:
(for the same song)

And here another one from that "same" time (it's from a concert in the biggest concert hall in Slovenia):
(in the second half it's lyrics in Slovenian!)

Victoria Siempre!

Y Ultreia!!!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
The choice from Batea is two very short days, or one quite long one. So at 7.30 I reluctantly left the comfortable albergue (€10.08), which doubles as a hostal for seasonal workers, but which I had to myself. A lovely morning through corn and vines and flowers (and olives, lots of olives). Fabara by noon, and a quick visit to the 2nd century mausoleum just outside - seeing the dogleg on Peter Robbins' map, I assumed he got lost, but he hadn't. There is a tap at the mausoleum, so I filled my stomach and bottle full, as the next 20km have no houses, no anything much, not even shade. According to wikiloc, today I covered 43km, which is at the end of my comfort zone - mundicamino etc led me to expect 37, and 6 more may not be a lot, but at 5pm on a hot afternoon, it feels it. Caspe seems pleasant, currently enjoying a spot of conejo in the Hotel Visit.

At some point this morning, I took my first ever steps in Aragón, but the border wasn't obvious - I just noticed the hunting signs had changed from "coto de caça" to "coto de caza".
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
According to wikiloc, today I covered 43km, which is at the end of my comfort zone - mundicamino etc led me to expect 37, and 6 more may not be a lot, but at 5pm on a hot afternoon, it feels it.
Ouch. I don't think it matters much what time it happens, adding over an hour extra is never pleasant. Had it happen on a local walk here earlier in the year when a distance event advertised as 50km turned into 54 km. If nothing else, it ruins one's arrival time estimates for a suitable place to enjoy that next refreshment!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
IMG_20151015_172951.jpg Venus was high and bright as I left Caspe. Shortly afterwards the charm and variety of the garriga gives was to the monotony of the meseta, which, broadly, you stay with until Escatrón, where the camino reunites with the Ebro for the first time in 5 days. Just across the river is a former Cistercian monastery, now a posh hotel. It's been bashed about badly since the desamortización of 1836, but still has some lovely features, including a 13th century cloister and a constantly turning water wheel irrigating the gardens. It's trying to be like a parador, and not quite succeeding, but at €35 a night, it's about half the off season parador price.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
On from Rueda monastery you play hide and seek with the Ebro all day. The river meanders in a mazy motion - according to one sign I saw, taking 35km to do 7km in a straight line. For one fabulous stretch, you are in a green tunnel, with the sun turning the river emerald to your left, and steep hills to your right. Other than, only 5km from the start, Sástago (the narrow filling to a giant Ebro sandwich, whose bridges from the steepled crest cross the river east and west) there were no cafés all day, but fuentes in all the villages, so no water problems.

I saw a Praying Mantis for the first time in years, another treat.
 

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alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Zaragoza is a delight. By fluke, I arrived for the finale of the fiestas del Pilar, a raucous 10 days of music, exhibitions, street food, parades, a flower mountain, corridas, theatre, new wine etc. Having got my sello in the cathedral, I then, like millions before me, made my besa to the eroded marble pillar, in front of which, 1,975 years ago, the BVM is believed to have appeared to Santiago. If I'd arrived on the 12th, I'd have been eligible for a plenary indulgence. Overhead are frescoes by the young Goya, and there are some later works by the local lad in the Ibercaja collection nearby. The paseo last night was heaving with people, and I was lucky to get a place in a restaurant to enjoy some ternasco, the delicious tender local lamb. Early mass in the cathedral this morning was accompanied by an Aragonese folk group in full traditional costume. IMG_20151017_165351.jpg
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
The exit from Zaragoza is along a mostly pleasant river path - so often the camino leaves a great city through horrible suburbs and poligono industrial (Zamora must be the most depressing centre/suburbs contrast I know, although others come close). Lots of mudéjar round here - Quintos' sympathetically restored tower, the almost Giralda-like one in Utebo, and the pretty ones of Torres de Berrellén, where I stay tonight.

TdB has the first "proper" albergue I've stayed in so far (€7.20). I'm the 75th person in it this year. 8 bunks (luxuriously thick mattresses), kitchen, showers etc. Judging by the visitor's book, the majority of people staying are on their way to or from Loyola on the Jesuit trail.
 

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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
You are making your route sound very appealing! I took a side trip from Jaca to Zaragoza on the train, and loved the city. A barber there gave me some hot tips on trout fishing! If you write a guide to the route, you may get a lot of followers. Continue to have fun. :)
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
You are making your route sound very appealing! I took a side trip from Jaca to Zaragoza on the train, and loved the city.
Zaragoza was really great, I rather wish I'd stayed an extra day. Tomorrow I will say goodbye to the Ebro, my occasionally elusive friend of 11 days standing, and head up into the hills. I did think about carrying on up the river to Logroño, but the promise of a glut of Romanesque to come decided me on sticking to my plan of turning left and following the Castellano-Aragonés.

Today was not a great day, with mizzle (mixed mist and light drizzle) most of the way, and quite a lot of tarmac. There were some compensatory treats as well. In Alagón, to my amazement, at 9.30am on a Monday, the Casa de Cultura was open and I was able to go up 5 flights of a beautiful 17th century columned staircase to see a piece of Goya juvenilia, a ceiling fresco he apparently painted when he was about 20 - you probably wouldn't look twice unless you'd been told who it was by, but still. The town boasted a couple of handsome mudéjar churches as well - the sign on the outskirts said "Alagón ¡te sorprenderá!", and it did.

An hour or so later, at a bend in the river, the Camino takes you through Alcalá de Ebro, supposedly the inspiration for the "island" of Barataria, briefly governed by Sancho Panza. Unlike dear Sancho, I did not starve there, and had difficulty getting away from the hospitable bar, where somebody who was convinced I was Italian and wanted to practice his language insisted on buying me several cañas.

Now in Gallur, in the albergue in the former railway station (€10), with a bar downstairs where there is a hugely enjoyable and astonishingly loud 2nd birthday party taking place. I think the abuelas are making more noise than the toddlers.
 

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Kevin F. O*brien

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Podiensis 2002, Camino Frances 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012, Via de La Plata 2005, 2006. 2013, Camino Ingles 2013, Camino de Madrid 2008, Camino Salvador 2008, Camino del Norte 2010, Camino de Levante 2012,
Camino Mozarabe 2015, Camino Salvador 2015, Camino Primitivo 2015
Hats off to you both @alansykes & @peregrina2000 ,
I'm all through and through republicano, even walked with the flag of International Brigades (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Brigades#/media/File:Flag_of_the_International_Brigades.svg) on the front of my castro cap for last two years. Some pretty funny moments in parroquial albergues ;)
I have some family history regarding this although not around Ebro, rather around Toledo where fierce battles were also fought.

Laurie, I don't know why your link doesn't work, but here's another one:
(for the same song)

And here another one from that "same" time (it's from a concert in the biggest concert hall in Slovenia):
(in the second half it's lyrics in Slovenian!)

Victoria Siempre!

Y Ultreia!!!

Wow Incredible. Thanks so much Kinks. Spanish or Slovenian - amazing! Like Alan and Laurie I have enormous sympathy for the "losing" side in the Civil War. Lovely to see that the songs and culture are still alive! I think the verision by the American girl, alone on an acoustic guitar is also great. I hope you have seen it. Best. Kev. (Incidentallly with Laurie, I've just published a new walking guide for the Mozarabe from Almeria to Granada - see Camino Mozarabe)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Wow Incredible. Thanks so much Kinks. Spanish or Slovenian - amazing! Like Alan and Laurie I have enormous sympathy for the "losing" side in the Civil War. Lovely to see that the songs and culture are still alive! I think the verision by the American girl, alone on an acoustic guitar is also great. I hope you have seen it. Best. Kev. (Incidentallly with Laurie, I've just published a new walking guide for the Mozarabe from Almeria to Granada - see Camino Mozarabe)
Thanks, Kevin!
And yes, I was following all your posts about Mozarabe. Thanks again ;)
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
In Alagón, .... An hour or so later, at a bend in the river, the Camino takes you through Alcalá de Ebro....... Now in Gallur.....
My goodness, you're bringing back the memories of last May!
In Torres de Berrelen I was rushed out of the church [literally pushed out] at the end of mass to the cries of "The bulls are coming! The bulls are coming!"
The camino from there to Alagon was beautiful ...
I walked on beside the River Jalon - a tributary of the Ebro [below]. It was delightfully peaceful.
In Alagon I stayed in the Hotel de Angeles, before moving on the next day towards Alcala.

P1020806.JPG P1020816.JPG

Did you see the storks on the church roof in Gallur, Alan? They always amaze me - in the UK they are a rarity - in this part of Spain they have to put wire nets up, to stop them from nesting on church window-cills!

P1020842.JPG

I won't bore you with any more pictures - they're all on my web site: but thanks for bringing back happy memories of sunshine, swiftly flowing rivers, and storks, while I'm in dark, wet and windy Suffolk, UK.
Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
All I can say is WOW!
This is definitely on my list for next year.
Point me to the guidebook?

I have but one questions... on those days through the tunnels.
It looks pretty scary.
Was there much traffic?
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
There is no traffic - cars etc are banned! But I walked it on a Bank Holiday and there were literally hundreds of cyclists. As my diary says, it was an old railway route, but now the tracks are all gone but the surface has been made very good. Take a torch for the very long tunnel. They are solar powered but the lights can go out when you're half way through!
P1020528.JPG P1020543.JPG

Eventually you reach a beautiful spot in the mountains - Fontcalda with excellent accommodation ....
P1020564.JPG

A beautiful camino!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
All I can say is WOW!
This is definitely on my list for next year.
Point me to the guidebook?

I have but one questions... on those days through the tunnels.
It looks pretty scary.
Was there much traffic?

Hi, Annie, I know you've been having your happy dance lately, and this is going to be mine -- Ruta del Ebro in 2016, as soon as I can spend the time to buy the tickets!

I will definitely be putting together whatever material I can find and will try to make it generally available, but that won't be for another year. :)
 
C

Castilian

Guest
Let's recall for Ebro lovers who want to try walking another part of the river that the Pamplona branch of the Camino Olvidado follows the Ebro from Miranda de Ebro to Villanueva de la Nía. To get an idea about the scenery, you can look online, for example, for pictures of the Hoces del Ebro and/or the Hoces de Sobrón. You might also like to look online for pictures of some of the villages along the route like, for example, Orbaneja del Castillo, Frías...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
Hi, Annie, I know you've been having your happy dance lately, and this is going to be mine -- Ruta del Ebro in 2016, as soon as I can spend the time to buy the tickets!

I will definitely be putting together whatever material I can find and will try to make it generally available, but that won't be for another year. :)
Congratulations! I can't wait to hear all about it! It looks like a wonderful walk!
Camino Ebro for ME in 2017!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
There is no traffic - cars etc are banned! But I walked it on a Bank Holiday and there were literally hundreds of cyclists. As my diary says, it was an old railway route, but now the tracks are all gone but the surface has been made very good. Take a torch for the very long tunnel. They are solar powered but the lights can go out when you're half way through!
View attachment 22694 View attachment 22695

Eventually you reach a beautiful spot in the mountains - Fontcalda with excellent accommodation ....
View attachment 22696

A beautiful camino!
Stephen, just a question -- is that last picture taken while on the Camino, or is it off and around La Fontcalda somewhere? And where did you stay? Muchas gracias, Laurie
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
Stephen, just a question -- is that last picture taken while on the Camino, or is it off and around La Fontcalda somewhere? And where did you stay? Muchas gracias, Laurie
La Fontcalda IS on the camino! Well - I certainly hope so!! At that point the camino follows exactly the Via Verda. You can check out my diary on my web - and links to all 400 photos! The diary includes ...... "What a frenetic, strange place! There were literally hundreds of cyclists and visitors. I didn’t think this was ‘normal’ – but because it was a Bank Holiday May 1st and they had three fiesta days as well. Maybe I was lucky to get the room for the night.

Near to the Canaletes river, surrounded by holm oaks, pine groves and calcareous cliffs, you reach La Fontcalda. This magnificent natural, green area, is located in Gandesa. Its name is linked to the presence of a fountain of medicinal water that gushes at 28 degrees, just to the left of the Canaletes River.

La Fontcalda Sanctuary was built in the 14th century, although the current neoclassic church was built in the 18th century. In 1936, during the Spanish Civil war, the sanctuary was burned down and the baroque altar with an image of the Virgin Mary was destroyed.
In the church square there are two guest houses, with a bar and restaurant. There is also a recreational area with stone tables, toilets and showers. You can swim in some parts of the river. Cyclists enjoy stopping at La Fontcalda Sanctuary, as it is situated close to the Via Verda de la Terra Alta (Green Trail), which follows the ancient Vall de Zafán railway, which used to connect Tortosa (Baix Ebre) and La Puebla de Híjar (Aragón).


The buildings around the restaurant had once been a mill: in some places you could see the old mill stones, and the water race which once powered the mill
."
Just to give you one more picture of the old mill building and the water race ....
P1020571.JPG

Hope that helps, Laurie: I don't want to bore you with lots of pictures and wordage!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
La Fontcalda IS on the camino! Well - I certainly hope so!! At that point the camino follows exactly the Via Verda. You can check out my diary on my web - and links to all 400 photos! The diary includes ...... "What a frenetic, strange place! There were literally hundreds of cyclists and visitors. I didn’t think this was ‘normal’ – but because it was a Bank Holiday May 1st and they had three fiesta days as well. Maybe I was lucky to get the room for the night.

Near to the Canaletes river, surrounded by holm oaks, pine groves and calcareous cliffs, you reach La Fontcalda. This magnificent natural, green area, is located in Gandesa. Its name is linked to the presence of a fountain of medicinal water that gushes at 28 degrees, just to the left of the Canaletes River.

La Fontcalda Sanctuary was built in the 14th century, although the current neoclassic church was built in the 18th century. In 1936, during the Spanish Civil war, the sanctuary was burned down and the baroque altar with an image of the Virgin Mary was destroyed.
In the church square there are two guest houses, with a bar and restaurant. There is also a recreational area with stone tables, toilets and showers. You can swim in some parts of the river. Cyclists enjoy stopping at La Fontcalda Sanctuary, as it is situated close to the Via Verda de la Terra Alta (Green Trail), which follows the ancient Vall de Zafán railway, which used to connect Tortosa (Baix Ebre) and La Puebla de Híjar (Aragón).


The buildings around the restaurant had once been a mill: in some places you could see the old mill stones, and the water race which once powered the mill
."
Just to give you one more picture of the old mill building and the water race ....
View attachment 22698

Hope that helps, Laurie: I don't want to bore you with lots of pictures and wordage!
Thanks, Stephen, I have already read and enjoyed your blog, the pictures are very enticing! I didn't ask my question very clearly, sorry -- what I meant to ask you was whether that picture of the canyon with water running through it is on the camino itself. Since I probably won't be stopping in La Fontcalda, I was just wondering whether I'd have to take a litle detour or whether the arrows will take me to that lovely spot. It is just beautiful! Buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
There is no traffic - cars etc are banned! But I walked it on a Bank Holiday and there were literally hundreds of cyclists. As my diary says, it was an old railway route, but now the tracks are all gone but the surface has been made very good. Take a torch for the very long tunnel. They are solar powered but the lights can go out when you're half way through!
View attachment 22694 View attachment 22695

Eventually you reach a beautiful spot in the mountains - Fontcalda with excellent accommodation ....
View attachment 22696

A beautiful camino!
Oh man. Oh man. I'd do it this year but I couldn't go until June 2 and it looks like it would be too hot then. Right?
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
Oh man. Oh man. I'd do it this year but I couldn't go until June 2 and it looks like it would be too hot then. Right?
Have replied on our 'conversation' ... but basically said:
"Well ... June will be hot, but not as bad as July & August! I was just a bit unlucky, that they had the hottest May for 22 years. It reached 37 degs! But if you start out at 6-7 a.m. and walk until noon/1 p.m. you'll be fine!
I would happily walk it again, but might well prefer June, to see a few more pilgrims. One pilgrim in 3 weeks was a bit lonely!"
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
...... what I meant to ask you was whether that picture of the canyon with water running through it is on the camino itself. Since I probably won't be stopping in La Fontcalda, I was just wondering whether I'd have to take a litle detour or whether the arrows will take me to that lovely spot. It is just beautiful! Buen camino, Laurie
Hi Laurie!
The picture of the canyon was taken right at La Fontcalda. La Fontcalda is on the camino route. It's on the section which coincides with the Via Verda. There aren't many yellow arrows, but plenty of signs showing the Via Verda.
At Fontcalda there's a sign-post showing two routes to Batea - one going over the mountains [which I took] the other, I think, more by road. And at La Fontcalda the Camino leaves the Via Verda, and heads along that river for a short way, and then up into the mountains to those famous metal feet .....
P1020580.JPG
Hope that helps!
 

Pipmahoe

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2018
Central Portuguese April 2019 8 weeks post hip replacement!
Hello Alan,
Thank you for writing about your Camino. I was wondering if you can help me....is there any accommodation at or near the Santuare de la Fontcalda?
Bon Camino 👣😀
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hello Alan,
Thank you for writing about your Camino. I was wondering if you can help me....is there any accommodation at or near the Santuare de la Fontcalda?
Bon Camino 👣😀
I'm not Alan, but I have also walked the Ebro. I think we both stayed in Benifallet and then Gandesa. My distinct memory is that there is no place to stay anywhere around Fontcalada. Even though it looks like it should have a hotel there!

Benifallet to Gandesa is about 24 km, so it makes for a good day, and you would also have time to visit the very interesting Civil War museum in Gandesa. Highly recommended. If you don't mind my asking, are you looking for shorter stages than 24 km or do you have an earlier stop that makes Benifallet not a good place? It is an albergue out in the middle of the forest, very lovely. The albergue itself was full when we got there, but because we were peregrinas, they put up a tent and loaded up the tent floor with thick mattresses so we were quite comfortable.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Hello Alan,
Thank you for writing about your Camino. I was wondering if you can help me....is there any accommodation at or near the Santuare de la Fontcalda?
Bon Camino 👣😀
A little way off the camino is the Balneario de la Fontcalda, a hot spring that was very pleasant to relax in. When I was there, a bar was open that served drinks and tapas, and there was what looked like an hotel but as I was passing by at c11am I didn't check whether I could stay the night there. It was a very beautiful and special place, used as a hospital/recovery centre by the republicans during the war.
 

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