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it looks like a lot of road walking on the southern route, though? that must have been one of the reasons I chose the northern route (and the menhirs(?) and probably cheaper accommodatoin in quintana).Day 9. Banos de Sabron - Frias (via the South bank of the Ebro after Embalse de Sabron)
Here is a screenshot of my proposed route, which diverts from the Viejo that both @caminka and @Sheffield James walked, missing Quintana Martin Galindez altogether and following either the North or South banks of the river for the last few kilometers between Montejo de Cebas and Frias. Going directly to Frias from Sobron is about 21 kms, whereas going via QMG is about 28 kms as measured by my OsmAnd app.
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There are a several Casa Rurales in Frias, and @caminka's guide mentions a campground, but I cannot confirm that it's still there looking at my maps.
The main event on this day is Frias itself - the walled city and its impressive bridge across the Ebro. So it looks worth heading there and enjoying its impressive offerings.
frias is on the gr-99. but I took a local pr out of it because it climbed up to a rocky ridge with a supert view of frias.
You bad person. So much for an easy decision.
And yes, road walking...but it's 7 km shorter and you can still cross back over so that it's possible to aporoach Frias on the gorgeous bridge.
The campground? Maybe I misread your guide?
this is a really nice idea. when I'll be there again...
You wouldn't have to, because the route up the Southern bank of the river comes almost to the bridge that links it to the path you took. I didn't measure it but am thinking I will cross over at that point. The added benefit is that you cross the beautiful bridge back across the river, headed into Frias.the path from montejo de san miguel to the bridge was lovely, I would be sad to miss it.
Just you wait. Surprises are in store.Hard to imagine it could get better, but your comments suggest that it does!
if you are referring to various gorges and natural scenery, yes, it is totally mind-bowing. but there are also amazing corbels, old stone-built roads and dolmens (some on short-cuts I took).I am head down in looking at the way ahead.
It. Looks. Mind. Blowing.
How come no-one comes this way???
Stay tuned for further posts...
You wouldn't have to, because the route up the Southern bank of the river comes almost to the bridge that links it to the path you took. I didn't measure it but am thinking I will cross over at that point. The added benefit is that you cross the beautiful bridge back across the river, headed into Frias.
I'm not sure what you mean?btw, how do you get that nice blue square for a link?
Tedeja ocupa un saliente en el extremo oriental de la Sierra de la Tesla, en la desembocadura del río Nela en el Ebro. A sus pies está el desfiladero de la Horadada, que es uno de los pasos naturales entre Las Merindades y la llanura de La Bureba. Lugar este claramente estratégico por sus condiciones topográficas, por el dominio visual que llega hasta Medina de Pomar situada a unos 20 Km.
I was referring by way of contrast to the alternative (if you wanted to extend the day) to go that extra 14 km from Trespadrrne to Oña. The 'Viejo proper' that I is essentially the same as the GR99 here.And Vira, when you mentioned the “Viejo proper”, does that mean that there are two essentially parallel routes, one the GR99 Ruta del Ebro and the other the Viejo?
Obviously, once, this not ‘no-where.’ Sic transit Gloria mundi.“In the municipality of Tedeja there is a hermitage, called Santa María de los Godos, where an ancient burial site is shown, which it is believed that they belonged to some of the leading knights of that nation. ”
Nearby there are two graves.“In the surroundings of Tartalés de Cilla, there are the Cuevas de los Portugueses (rock hermitages that are located at the foot of the road next to the crossing to Tartalés de Cilla) and the rock hermitage of San Pedro, which we will talk about in this entry. [...] The rock hermitage is an artificial cave from the VII-VIII centuries that had the function of being a small church.”
This was an altar for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, as several branches of the Forgotten Camino de Santiago cross the Merindades de Burgos , taking advantage of the Roman road.
My thought exactly. Baztan-Viejo-Olvidado-Inviernoif I were to go down that rabbit hole, I'd think about starting on the Baztan ... via a little route I plotted some time ago from Biarritz Airport to the river path leading to Ustaritz.
And if I had a lot more time than I usually have for a Camino, I'd end this epic walk with the Invierno....
yes, but it does pass through tobera, if you have not already saw it on the way from pancorbo and ona.The GR85 route is about 20 km, involving a climb of 325m, and a similar descent:
@caminka's route, following the GR99 is shorter and gentler, only 12km and looks mostly flat.Consulta la cuarta etapa Si en la anterior jornada andamos por la parte más llana del valle de Tobalina, ahora tendremos un contacto c...tierrasdeburgos.blogspot.com
the taste of some of those jewels and my wikiloc. I mixed GR99 and GR85 to get the most of them on the most optimal route.There is a Hostal and a campsite with cabins in Trespaderne. If you want to keep walking you would have to go all the way to Quintana de Valdevielso, another 27kms, to find a place to sleep. Alternatively you could go off-piste to Oña (if you didn't come to Frias that way), 14 kms farther on. From Oña to Quintana de Valdevielso is about 24 kms. It is a trade off, though - the next day, if walked on the Viejo proper, takes you past some real jewels, which you would miss.
viejo camino in this thread is the camino that in this section follows the GR99.Well, as someone who is likely to be pushing against a time crunch, I wonder if there is any way to extend this day’s walk, either using the short route or the longer route.
And Vira, when you mentioned the “Viejo proper”, does that mean that there are two essentially parallel routes, one the GR99 Ruta del Ebro and the other the Viejo?
oh, oh! I love old trees!Alternative way: Yew Trees
Nearby but not on the camino there is a protected stand of ancient yews – 64 numbered and well-studied trees that are about 1000 years old. Here is an account of a loop track that takes in part of the camino as well as the trees:
The track passes through Hoz de Valdivielso, so if you are super interested in seeing them, it would be easy to walk to the Valdivielso that way instead of using @caminka ’s track.
This church is famous, it looks like for very good reason.and one of the most amazing little romanesque churches I have ever cme across, san pedro de tejada.
Me too!! Check out that website, it blew me away; there is a little video and the trees are start at about 3:30 into it. Going that way means missing the rock hermitage and the waterfall, but these are really serious trees, rare and special ones, and there are a number of them..oh, oh! I love old trees!
I am rooting for the route pamplona - salvatierra/aguirain (at least) to be named camino viejo - based on roman and medieval finds and the travel journey by abbot gundisalvo in 902. it would be exciting if this could be extended to aguilar along the abbot gundisalvo's route (Salvatierra, Alegría, Armentía, Trespuentes, Puentelarra, Tobalina, Frías, Oña, Sedano, Amaya, Nogales, Mave, Aguilar) which is different then GR 99 ruta del ebro, but then there would be two options!
attached is a quick sketch of how I see the connections.
OsmAnd makes that simple to plot, at least in terms of the basic route, which could be easily tweaked.the travel journey by abbot gundisalvo in 902. it would be exciting if this could be extended to aguilar along the abbot gundisalvo's route (Salvatierra, Alegría, Armentía, Trespuentes, Puentelarra, Tobalina, Frías, Oña, Sedano, Amaya, Nogales, Mave, Aguilar) which is different then GR 99
in 2012 the church was open in the morning and in the afternoon. the lady that attended to the key was later at the albergue arte y natura in quintana de valdivielso. she was very nice. I arrived at the church with about 15min to spare (till 12h, probably) but she let me run around ohing and ahing and taking photos till I was satisfied. there was a small admission fee, I think.This church is famous, it looks like for very good reason.
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What is not clear is whether it is ever open.
My general sense, and please correct me if this impression is wrong, @caminka , is that the day from Trespaderne to QdV is a special one. I would be tempted to go from Frias to Trespaderne via Tobera/Oña (the first map in my last post), and then to QdV the next day, following your track - thus getting the best of both worlds.
What do you think?
I admit it would be an easy decision for me, having already seen the rock hermitage and the romanesque church and the gorge with the waterfall.Me too!! Check out that website, it blew me away; there is a little video and the trees are start at about 3:30 into it. Going that way means missing the rock hermitage and the waterfall, but these are really serious trees, rare and special ones, and there are a number of them..
omg, you found this! that's what I was referring to in one of the above posts.
Not to derail this thread or send it into the gutter, but San Pedro de Cervatos on the Olvidado is full of them! I couldn’t bring myself to take any pictures, though.And...ahem...
San Pedro de Tejada has some 'unusual' sculptural elements.
It turns out this is not unusual. Who knew?
The old calzada is our route onwards, and it's spectacularly well preserved.“Until [recently], the road that led from the Merindades to the capital of Burgos passed through El Almiñé. In this town the ascent of La Cuesta began, an impressive mountain pass that culminated, some 1,000 meters above sea level, in the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Hoz. The construction of the current [road through] the Puerto de la Mazorra diverted traffic and hermitage and town lost significance. El Almiñé is the paradigm of what some authors consider to be a village-road since, in fact, its urban structure follows, broadly speaking, the linearity of the Burgos road. [...] Travelers, some of them pilgrims, left the Burgos Mountains most likely for this magnificent place. Today, in El Almiñé there is no more bustle. The abandonment of the road plunged the town into oblivion.”
'Our' sounds very good to me, Laurie! may it be so!So here are some natural wonders to incorporate into your (hopefully our) little meander.
I thought that it was a neat way of educating poor illiterate peasants about the mysteries of gender.And...ahem...
San Pedro de Tejada has some 'unusual' sculptural elements.
It turns out this is not unusual. Who knew?
now there is also accommodation in cortiguera, casa rural talamo. cortiguera was during my next day stage because in 2012 it was a village of ruined houses and one or two weekend houses. but it would be nice to stay there because the nearby evening views of the canon del ebro must be amazing.Day 12, Quintana de Valdevileso – Pesqueria del Ebro 27.96 km
After meandering across the Valdivielso, it's time to move on.
Today we part company with the Ebro to go up and over the alto, but then re-meeting the rio higher up. So it's a day of a going up about 500 m and then at the end back down four-fifths of that. Why the route doesn't just follow the river is a question that is nagging at me but what we see going the other way is worth it.
Soon after leaving QdV, we come to San Nicolás de El Almiñé, which is definitely worth exploring.
This unusual window is from there:
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And inside, there is this fine retablo:
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This is an area with old pilgrimage roots. From the website about Las Merindadades:
The old calzada is our route onwards, and it's spectacularly well preserved.
Were you coming from the North (of you’d detoured to Poza de la Sal as @Sheffield James did, you could descend into QdV on this road. The rest of us walk up it early in the day, much easier than going down on that surface!
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The old road climbs steeply and then levels off at Santa Isabel o de la Hoz,
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Here, the camino turns right crossing the Alto de la Mazorra towards Pesqueria del Ebro.
From the mirador on the CL-629, the view down to the Valdevielso looking back the way we came from yesterday is not too shabby at all:
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The Dolmen de la Cotorrita is a little to the North of the camino before the village of Porquera del Butrón, well worth the short detour. This dolmen is roughly 5,500 years old and was excavated and restored in 1969. It has an east-west orientation, and at least 15 people were buried there.
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This wesite mentions the church at Porquera de Butron as having been 'restored;' it is certainly not of the caliber of others we have seen down in the valleys. Up here on the mesa, life is harsher than in the valley, and the village church in Cubillo de Butron has obviously fallen on hard times.
From here the camino zig-zags back down to the Ebro.
Right at the old bridge over the river in Pesquera de Ebro is the Ermita de San Antonio; here we cross the bridge and enter the village.
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The first document that talks about Pesquera de Ebro is dated to 941. As the town's name implies, it emerged as a fishing place and developed on the edge of the strategic bridge over the Ebro.
The town, with emblazoned houses and old palaces, is considered a Historic Site. It's is one of the towns with the highest density of noble shields in all of Spain. Most are from the 17th and 18th centuries, a time when a large part of their inhabitants were nobility. But now it is a humble place with only a handful of residents.
There are at least two CRs to stay, one right by the river.
'Our' sounds very good to me, Laurie! may it be so!
And wow, thank you. Waterfalls, look at them all!
I'll have a look in the morning in more detail. It's too late to dive into that rabbit hole...
now there is also accommodation in cortiguera, casa rural talamo. cortiguera was during my next day stage because in 2012 it was a village of ruined houses and one or two weekend houses. but it would be nice to stay there because the nearby evening views of the canon del ebro must be amazing.
I dont' know about cave paintings. I do remember a guy charging money for a cave behind the village. I climbed above the cave to an overhang - mirador de la cueva del agua on google maps. very nice view of the castillo rocks across the canyon.
Here is a stunning photo from one of those sites, of Peña Amaya with a gorgeous church in the foreground:Las Loras Geopark, in Burgos and Palencia (Castilla y León)
A rugged terrain with imposing ravines and rocky outcrops, where you can find more Romanesque churches, convents and monasteries per kilometre than anywhere in Europe. These are the distinguishing features of Las Loras Geopark, which offers plenty of routes to explore on foot, by car or mountain biking. Some of the most spectacular landscapes are the gorges of the rivers Ebro and Rudrón (in Burgos) and Las Tuerces (in Palencia), close to the interesting Cave of Los Franceses and the recommended Mirador de Valcabado viewing point. Throughout most of the park you’ll also find pre-Roman castros, Neolithic dolmens, and Iron Age sites like the castros of Monte Bernorio, Peña Amaya, Peña Ulaña and Monte Cildá. Many of the park’s waterfalls are easy to access, such as those of Orbaneja del Castillo (Burgos) and Covalagua (Palencia). The area is ideal for adventure sports like rock climbing or canyoning.
it would be exciting if this could be extended to aguilar along the abbot gundisalvo's route (Salvatierra, Alegría, Armentía, Trespuentes, Puentelarra, Tobalina, Frías, Oña, Sedano, Amaya, Nogales, Mave, Aguilar) which is different then GR 99 ruta del ebro, but then there would be two options!
OsmAnd makes that simple to plot, at least in terms of the basic route, which could be easily tweaked.
Here you go:
I didn't know about all those cave churches. woow!Day 14. Orbaneja del Castillo – Polientes 18.5km (or 26.25 with side trip to Ermita) 17.8 or 26.02
Between OdC and Aguilar de Campoo, we mostly follow the Ebro and dip in and out of Cantabria, which has a zig-zag boundary with Castilla y Leon.
There are a number of worthwhile detours from this short stage if you are into cave hermitages.
First, on the left soon before you arrive at Villaescusa, there is a short spur off the camino that goes to Ermita Rupestre de El Tobazo.
Then, about 8km after leaving Orbaneja del Casrtillo, turn right taking the bridge across the river at Barrio de Cascajar, to do a loop that begins with the cave church Iglesia de Arroyuelos:
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On the return leg to the camino you can visit the small Iglesia de Santa Santa Maria. There was once a Roman imperial villa in Santa Maria de Hito, which was excavated in the 70s and 80s, but then unfortunately re-buried so there is nothing to see.
An additional out and back 3.9 km from Santa Maria de Hito brings you to a really remarkable set of cave hermitages at Presillas de Bricia:
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The total loop adds 8.79km to the day’s walk, but it’s not a long day and the side trip looks totally worth it. If you leave out the leg to Presillas (which I wouldn't because it looks really special) it is about a 5km loop:
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As I mentioned some stages ago, this is one of many ermitas or iglesias rupestres in the area, all from between the 6th and 10th C.
Here’s a clip from a larger map from:
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Each pointer on the map is a rock hermitage – and there is a much higher density of them here as opposed to other places in Spain. Between Orbaneja del Castillo and Aguilar de Campoo, six are on (or close to) the route of the camino. That website (link above the photo) blew me away. Before this week, I had no idea that these cave hermitages existed, and they evoke the same sense of mystery as do the desert fathers of the first millennium. Who were these hermits in the wilderness? And how did they live? Back then, these would have been impossibly remote.
This is a beautifully done blog about all the rock churches:
It’s not clear how many of these ermitorios are ever open (though some are small and open to the weather), so best to inquire where you are staying to see if they are gated or locked, and if so how to get in. I found a website that said “[A]ll these churches are usually locked (though they’re striking from the outside too). You’ll need to contact the helpful Oficina de Turismo de Valderredible in advance to arrange visits.”
(It’s worth mentioning in this context that well North of the Viejo – closer to the Olvidado proper – is the huge cave system and hermitage of Ojo Guareña, which is close to the route of the ‘regular’ Olvidado from Bilbao:
This is also worth a look in the same general area, a beautiful walk described in the blog that Laurie posted about while ago:
If you are tired of cave hermitages, you might still want to take the slight deviation to visit the beautiful Romanesque Colegiata San Martin de Elines, only a small deviation from @caminka ’s track at San Martin de Elines.
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Here, both the capitals and corbels are remarkable. The Mozarabic remains of the cloister and graveyard, as well as the Rupestrian churches nearby, are evidence of the early inhabitants in the Valderredible Valley.
The building defines the archetype of a mountain village church. The workshops that built this type of edifice had few financial means. The [local] stonemasons proved to be skilled in roughing the stone blocks, lifting sturdy stonework, although they left much to be desired in terms of sculpting figurative scenes, demonstrating more imagination than mastery.
I followed the GR 99 all the way and didn't get lost this time.
these were one of the most interesting corbels I saw. I spent a while guessing what they could represent. I think that is certainy a woman giving birth. quite amazing.the guy picking his teeth made me chuckle out loud. And then someone has a toothache...and is that woman giving birth!?
Here is a map; the CA 273 is the camino here:Dating back to the 10th century or earlier, Santa María de Valverde is the Ebro Valley's largest iglesia rupestre (rock-cut church). Written accounts from 978 AD describe the church as a simple one-nave affair; a 12th-century Romanesque expansion added the rooftop bell-gable and widened the interior into its present three-nave form.
The church retains a magical, rustic beauty, with irregular stone arches and rough-cut stone floors suffused in ghostly subterranean light. Visits are in conjunction with visits to interpretation centre next door, which gives an excellent introduction to this and the other rock-cut churches of the Ebro Valley.
Hours:10am-2pm & 4-7pm Sat & Sun mid-Mar–Jun & Sep–mid-Dec, Tue-Sun Jul-Aug, Mass 1pm Sun year-round.
Haha! Thank you...But isn’t it time to start a new virtual planning thread on the Camino de las Asturias from Aguilar to Oviedo? Of course, if you need a well-deserved rest, your fan club can wait a while.
Oh, yes, that’s right. I think the split may be Puebla de Arganzon. It crosses the Olvidado at Cervera de Pisuerga, which is one day northwest of Aguilar de Campoo, so it must run a little north of the Ebro route you’ve so brilliantly laid out here.Doesn't the Camino de las Asturias part company from this route way back in Alava?
Awwww, thank you Laurie. It was such a joy, and a real gold mine of wonder. This route truly has it all.I think it is the most exhaustive and excellent effort I have seen when it comes to mapping out possibilities on an untravelled camino. Many gold stars and many hugs of thanks to @VN!!!!!!!!!
It's one of several, from the look of that blog I linked to above. If you go, print out the text of that (or pull it up on your phone) and you will have a complete guide.And the capital is five-star.
in the line that we have been maintaining for years, they represent grotesque, satirical and daring, mysterious and intriguing scenes, which they seek to attract attention and surprise the gaze of those who pass through there - and the system is still successful - to protect the temple from envy and bad feelings, especially when it is an isolated church in the countryside, like many lost hermitages in the mountains, which have at least some obscene element for protection.
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