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Via de las Asturias virtual camino and planning thread

Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
This camino goes from Pamplona to Oviedo, first cutting west-northwest to intersect the Vasco Interior, and following that until Puebla de Arlanzon, then roughly following the old GR-1 from there to Oviedo. There are a couple of places where it intersects the Olvidado after PdA, so it would be completely possible to mix and match, following the Viejo/Olvidado and branch off in different places if one wanted to go to Oviedo to pick up the Primativo (I'll indicate those when they apply).

The amigos in Vitoria have a website; this page offers microscopic stage directions (eg., "take the second path that ascends obliquely under two walnut trees"), and maps. The 'information' button downloads a pdf of directions for each stage - and the kml buttons do the same thing for maps. So far, so good.

But from the look of it, this is a lonely camino and not for the faint of heart. There are a number of places where the stage endpoints appear to lack accommodation, so it would probably be worth carrying a tent - but this is a bit unclear. The directions are only that - there is no other information offered in the PDFs about food and accommodation. There is contact information for the amigos association in Vitoria-Gasteiz, so anyone with Spanish skills should reach out to them for clarification about places to stay.
@peregrina2000 found this PDF, which is a goldmine; it confirms the dearth of accommodation along the way.

The beginning stages until Puebla de Arlanzon are the same as the Viejo, so I will pick it up there, stage 6 on the list from the Amigos. Here is the link to a thread about the Viejo for information about the earlier stages (broken into more stages to take in interesting things along the way):
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/virtual-camino-viejo-olvidado-from-pamplona.67492/

For any towns in Alava (Between Salvatierra and a bit past Tobillas), there’s a lot of valuable information to be had in the PDF that will download when you click on this link:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...549643446723&usg=AOvVaw11CxQbs4V1QUb7dpK1usVW

Stage 1. Puebla de Arlanzon - Salcedo 23.99
The first stage after Puebla de Arlanzon continues to follow the Via de Bayona until right after the bridge at Armiñon, at which point the two ways diverge. Instead of taking the VdB as it heads in a beeline directly uphill along the route of a Roman road, the CdlA takes the crooked way on a circuitious and quiet route that goes North of Miranda de Ebro.

After the first sets of zigging and zagging the way enters Quintanilla de la Ribera, whose settlement dates back to 11th C. What remains of note there now are the 16th C Iglesa de San Esteban and a mid-19th C. optical telegraph tower.
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintanilla_de_la_Ribera
1595327160316.png
(From https://www.elcorreo.com/alava/araba/torres-enviaban-emails-20180828223458-nt.html)
Another back and forth and the camino goes through tiny Igay, then crosses the AP-68 before coming to Villabezana with its ruined church and a number of nearby places that have become depopulated (Arcillana, Lunantu, Santa Coloma, and Torrecilla).

Salcedo is a little bigger, but not much. It has a very old history, though, with a monastery from the 11th - 15th C, and It has a clock tower, and nearby are a few dolmens.
http://www.cuadrilladeanana.es/lantaron/salcedo.php
1595326601177.png
(image from this website.)

There’s a nearby necropolis, but it’s not as spectacular as the ones to the south along the Camino Viejo
https://enricvillanueva.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/necropolis-de-san-esteban-salcedo-alava/
1595326540752.png
(Image from that website.)

The PDF about towns in Alava, tells us that "Salcedo celebrates one of the oldest fiestas in Álava, with the famous character "Porretero." It celebrates its patron saint (San Esteban) on 23 September."

There does not appear to be a place to stay in or near Salcedo – whether the amigos made this a stage endpoint by way of wishful thinking nor not is unclear. In the detailed description of this stage, they mention the old lavadoria in the town, but not any accommodation. Of course it would be possible to follow the VdB to Miranda de Ebro to spend the night there, and then deviate north the next day - it is only 5k or so south of Salcedo.

Anyone who has walked this way please chime in (calling you, please, @Erromesa) - what I am posting here I am posting 'blind,' just based on the information I can glean online.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Yes, that's the one. it confused me too. (There is also a Salcedo a little way off the Invierno; some people divert there to break up the long stage from Quiroga to Monforte.)
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Brilliant, Laurie, thank you!
I'd be staying at Leciñana del Camino, because the next day's walk is looking super interesting if one goes off piste just a bit. I'd definitely want to stay at Salinas de Añana at the end of the day, and to have some time there to poke around. It looks as interesting as Las Medulas. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. :oops:

The other (and I think better) option is to just go to Miranda de Ebro from PdA, and join the VdlA from there, ending the day at Salinas de Añana. It's only a little over 18 kms. I'll add that option as a screenshot in my next stage post.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Brilliant, Laurie, thank you!
I'd be staying at Leciñana del Camino, because the next day's walk is looking super interesting if one goes off piste just a bit. I'd definitely want to stay at Salinas de Añana at the end of the day, and to have some time there to poke around. It looks as interesting as Las Medulas. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. :oops:

The other (and I think better) option is to just go to Miranda de Ebro from PdA, and join the VdlA from there, ending the day at Salinas de Añana. It's only a little over 18 kms. I'll add that option as a screenshot in my next stage post.
Well, sorry to say that I just heard back, and the Casa Rural Osingaín in Leciñana only rents out the whole house. And it will be closing its doors permanently in September.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Day 2 Salcedo – Espejo 23.99
Today is a day of natural wonders.

4.9 kms out of Salcedo, the camino passes near the Lago de Caicedo-Yuso or Arreo, which is the only permanent natural lake in the Pais Vasco. This wetland is home to extraordinary biodiversity, with rare plants and a stable population of water birds; it is also an important stopping point for migrants. It is considered a Wetland of International Importance.
1595520858510.png
From https://translate.google.com/transl...res/lago-de-caicedo-yuso/&prev=search&pto=aue :
Located at the upper end of the diapiro of Salinas de Añana, which feeds the Valley of Añana with salty water, a visit to the lake allows you to enjoy diverse vegetation, on the peripheral slopes of the lake of carrascas and gall oaks, and very unique communities linked to the water, with its own species of fresh and saline waters.

Continuing farther down the valley, the camino arrives at Salinas de Añana which is renowned for its salt flats, about 5000 of them, which have been in use since the Roman times. Brine is channeled into the flats allowing the salt to be harvested after the water evaporates. As much of interest to us peregrinas is the fact that there is also a spa. So this might be a nice place to take a short day to enjoy the history and pamper the body a bit - especially if you have come from Pamplona.
1595520038027.png 1595520629998.png
Nearby is the necropolis of San Vicente and the chapel of Virgen del Lago, the destination of a romeria that happens on the eve of Corpus Christi. Also in town is the Monastery of San Juan de Acre (Established in the 12th C. though the buildings are more recent) and the Church of Santa María de Villacones. There are also a couple of palaces. SdA has obviously been a magnet for people - and visitors - for a millennium. It does look like an incredibly interesting place to stop for a while. There are at least 3 options for places to stay, ditto for places to eat.

From https://tourism.euskadi.eus/en/cultural-heritage/salinas-de-anana-salt-valley/aa30-12375/en/
Salinas de Añana is much more than its salt factory, because as well as being the gateway to Valdegovía and the Valderejo Natural Park, it has amongst its heritage important archaeological remains from the Middle Ages that are being examined and recovered; with ironworks, forges and furnaces in a perfect state of preservation; with a church, several chapels and the last working convent which is home to the Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem; including various palaces and even next to the locality there is a major archaeological site with animal tracks and vegetation from about twenty-two million years ago.

If you are not staying here, it is a further 7.1km to Espejo, where there is an albergue.

Alternative Day 1 from Miranda de Ebro - Salinas de Añana
If you want to stay here, there is another option, that of simply continuing on the Via de Bayona as far as Miranda de Ebro and walking directly to SdA from there (I.e., taking this as the first day of the CdlA, rather than walking from Puebla de Alranzon). The advantage of this option are both about interest and accommodation; there is nothing so interesting in the first day of the official route out of Puebla de Arlanzon that I would be sorry to miss and MdE is a very pleasant town. 19kms is a short-ish day for many, which would allow time for a menu del dia and to take in SdA in a relaxed way.

Here is a screenshot of a possible route, an easy almost 19km:
Screenshot_20200723-221458_OsmAnd.jpg
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
I've already finished virtually walking this route but am putting this thread on hold, while we all do a virtual Levante with @AJGuillaume. It takes too much bandwidth to do both at once!
Once I start up again I'll send a PM to anyone who's interested - just please reply here so I can add you to thd list.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances Portuguese Finisterre Muxia Ingles Mozarabe VldP Sanabres Serrana Salvador Norte Espiritual
I've already finished virtually walking this route but am putting this thread on hold, while we all do a virtual Levante with @AJGuillaume. It takes too much bandwidth to do both at once!
Once I start up again I'll send a PM to anyone who's interested - just please reply here so I can add you to thd list.
Hi, and yes please
 

roving_rufus

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
add me too! Late to the party...
but considering adding this onto my route from Ireland - which I have planned to Bayonne and then thinking the Via de Bayonne
 

Pathfinder075

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (Villada to SdC) (2016)
Primitivo (Ribadesella to SdC) (2017)
I've already finished virtually walking this route but am putting this thread on hold, while we all do a virtual Levante with @AJGuillaume. It takes too much bandwidth to do both at once!
Once I start up again I'll send a PM to anyone who's interested - just please reply here so I can add you to the list.
Did you ever make it any further with this? It looks interesting, but maybe too lonely for me. Could you walk it and then join the Olvidado, instead of walking the Viejo? Or use it as a transit route to the Olvidado?

I plan to walk the Viejo next year and am not against trying something else while out there. From what I've seen the amount of foot traffic on the Viejo isn't going to be much more than this route.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Did you ever make it any further with this? It looks interesting, but maybe too lonely for me. Could you walk it and then join the Olvidado, instead of walking the Viejo?
I think that the Viejo and the Asturias will both have the same likelihood of encountering other pilgrims — close to 0%.

I have walked the Olvidado twice, and aside from the person I was walking with, met no others. The most recent was in 2019, though, and I do think numbers on the Olvidado are increasing, but it’s a slow snowball in the making.

I think many of us ran out of steam with these virtual planning threads, and VN hasn’t been too active recently, but let’s see if there is any more interest.
 

Pathfinder075

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (Villada to SdC) (2016)
Primitivo (Ribadesella to SdC) (2017)
I was actually wondering if this route was related to something I found out in the mountains a few valleys east of a village called Entrago, in the Picos. The village I was in (the name eludes me), had a shell and Camino sign and arrow, but faded and didn't look like a path that was walked to often. For a while I have wondered what route it was that I came across that day, it was before I walked a Camino. I kind of wondered if it was part of this route. It was too far north to be the Olvidado, too far south to be the Norte. It might be part of the Salvador, but I haven't walked that route, so don't know.

Anyway, Wisepilgrim, don't worry about the route plan too much. I still haven't decided for sure. Even now it's still a toss up between the Madrid/Frances/Invierno or the Baztan, Viejo, Olvidado to Ponferrada or North to Oviedo for the Primitivo. Probably for something as off the beaten track as this, I would need to walk with someone else, just for safety sake (health wise).

Thanks.
 

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