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LIVE from the Camino Walking In The Footsteps Of Pilgr (and Others!)

Discussion in 'Camino de Levante' started by Sheffield James, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    417
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Hola from the Camino de Santiago de Levante.

    I hope to share details of my accommodation stops as I progress along the Way, but I've decided to not post as a 'Live from the Camino' in deference to Pilgr's amazing current live thread. I'm a great fan + it seems to have taken on a life form that I could never imagine trying to emulate.

    I expect some of my information will have been shared already but there may be a few nuggets of new information occasionally to keep you looking in. Validating others' info is no bad thing, either.

    Day 0: Valencia.
    Stayed in youth hostel Center Valencia, ideally located 1 minute from the basilica and cathedral. Found on booking.com and paid €20 for two nights. Obviously, prices will fluctuate.
    Obtained my credencial at the Amigos' office near the new railway station + felt buoyed by their extremely friendly and helpful advice. Muchas Gracias to Jean-Luc and colleagues.

    Day 1: Algemesi.
    Left at 9am. Took plenty of time enjoying suburbs, dormitory towns and the start of open countryside. Sunday normally necessitates carrying extra provisions, but there were plenty of pit-stops until the final 10kms or so. Signage good, though I lost my bearings briefly once or twice. As walking without guide, gps, etc., I arrived at 7pm (further than 34kms?) with no address for the albergue. The Ayunt was closed, so I was grateful that a passer-by drove me to the policia local to get a key. I doubt many people will be as ill-prepared as me, but be aware Algemesi is a big city and it will require a taxi (or friendly local) to get you there and back. The albergue seemed to be well-appointed, with kitchen, hot showers, several bedrooms and donativo box. One word of caution, however: I don't know if it was my exhaustion, the effect of heat-stroke, or whatever, but I thought I saw a covert camera protruding slightly from one of the ceiling tiles in the main corridor. If true, the caution is aimed solely at anyone with a predilection for dancing naked in an 'empty' albergue. Before anyone asks, I didn't!! After a comfortable sleep, I returned the key to a police officer at the Ayunt the following morning, which is on the camino route leaving town.

    Day 2: Xativa (pronounced 'Hatiba')
    This was a slightly shorter day, with less by way of urbanisations, but still places to stop for refreshments. The orange trees are flowering now + they give off the most amazing fragrance that will be blissfully enjoyed by all except those with a serious pollen allergy. I'm quite happy to walk on asphalt, so I won't dwell on the fact there's a lot of it underfoot. Anyhow, the backdrop of the sierra mountains along the route provides a great visual distraction for much of the day. I stayed at El Palau, a large albergue rural that offers a bunk for €18 (incl sheets and towels) and a private double room for €30. I chose a bunk in a room that sleeps 20 (shared with one cycling pilgrim + a.n. other). I've seen that KinkyOne may have found a superior place to stay, but this was plenty good enough for me. To get there, follow the main thoroughfare towards the city centre. Just before you see the Ayunt on the right hand side of the road, turn left at a stone water fountain + climb a few streets until you see the massive facade of the collegiate church. The albergue is a few metres beyond the main door. I didn't phone ahead, but was instructed to by the person who opened the massive wooden door. The two telephone numbers on the wall are: 96 227 57 88 and 687 740 061. I think the address is: #6 Arriba de la Catedral. Don't go straight to the Ayument. They sent me to the Policia Local, who then did no more than send me direct to the albergue. The latter did give me a helpful city map, though. I lost the yellow arrows when first entering the city, but you won't go too far wrong the next day by asking for Calle de la Reina that becomes Avinguda de les Corts Valenciaes en route to the town of Canals en route to, in my case, Moixent.
    p.s. no, I didn't climb up to the castle!
     
  2. gracethepilgrim

    gracethepilgrim Active Member Donating Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New Zealand
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2003 CF, 2008 VdlP, 2012 Porto-SdC, 2014 VdlP via Portuguese var, 2015 CPI via Viseu-Chaves-Sanabres, (2107 June Levante)
    Super! Thanks so much James. We’ll be following you along the Way. Buen Camino
     
    Sheffield James likes this.
  3. weekjchammings

    weekjchammings KEITH JOHN

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    201
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    258
    Location:
    ABERGAVENNY . WALES . UNITED KINGDOM .
    Camino(s) past & future:
    GR10 HENDAYE - BANYULS SUR MERE 600+ MILES 2002 WITH MY SON.
    ABERGAVENNY - BEAUPREAU TWIN TOWN 2009
    ENGLISH SOUTH WEST COASTAL PATH 630 MILES 2010.
    LE PUY EN VELAY -SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE 2011 1,000+ MILES
    ABERGAVENNY WALES - MONT ST MICHEL - ST JEAN PdP - CAMINO FRANCES FRANCE - FINISTERRE 2013 1,400+ MILES.
    SEVILLA - SANTIAGO VIA DE LA PLATA 2014
    LISBON - PORTO - SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE CAMINO PORTUGUESE. 2016.
    CAMINO DE LEVANTE PLANNED 2017.
    Buen Camino James. I will be setting off from Valencia on the 28th April, so any personal experiences and recommendations you have re. Albergues and signage will be invaluable. Enjoy ULTREIA.
     
    Sheffield James likes this.
  4. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    417
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Thanks for the encouraging words @gracethepilgrim and @weekjchammings. Your reward is a second instalment.

    Day 3: Moixent (26.5kms)
    Another lovely, sunny day and a straightforward walk out of town. I was heading first for the town of Canals but I stopped 1km early and enjoyed a coffee in a bar in the square in the village of Aicor. The owners and clientele were very friendly and I was happy to accept their offer of a CdS sello. There was no point stopping again in Canals but I faced a dilemma when a funeral cortège passed me at one of the water fountains there. I felt it disrespectful to walk ahead of it, so I duly fell in line and joined the mourners as they made their way slowly to the cemetery gates at the edge of town. I bet they wondered who was this scruffy interloper.
    I met my first walking pilgrim -a retired German called Peter - on the road to Vallada. He was taking things slowly, so we chatted a while before I moved on. I got lost briefly in Vallada. The signage was great until I'd reached a point where I was forced to choose between left and right at the far end of a rectangular plaza. Take the left turn towards the church, then immediate right. The church was closed but there is a mural in the little garden area on the corner that's worth a moment of anyone's time.
    I had been given a number for the Red Cross for accommodation in Moixent, but unbeknowns to me it was for the Policia Local. I agreed to be at 'the' address at a given hour, but no one was there, and no one ever came to let me in. I then established I'd been speaking actually to a police officer and they'd been waiting for me to come to the station. Anyhow, you'll avoid my mistake by calling 616 948 485 and/or just showing up at the police station in the centre of town (turn right in the main sq, left at the roundabout with a stone replica of a famous historical artefact, then look to your right after crossing the bridge).Simples!
    This basic accommodation is above the station, with the entrance around the corner. There are 4 beds, with sheets and pillows provided. There's no kitchen, but there is a microwave and fridge. The bathroom has a bath/shower combo, though sadly there wasn't enough hot water for me to have a long soak. Payment is by donation. The camino route passes directly past the accommodation.

    Day 4: La Font de la Figuera (22kms)

    A comparatively short day in glorious sunshine. The walking was easy and the landscapes even more pleasing on the eye than the preceding days. On entry to LFdlF, the arrows take you straight to the Ayunt in the main square. They provide the key and a directions to the albergue, 5-7 mins away. This lovely, modern alb is small from the outside, but it has Dr Who Tardis-like properties, so that at least 12 people can stay at the same time. There is no charge for staying here + the Ayunt staff turned down the offer of a donation. Please be aware that there is no fridge and the cooker hob is one of those fancy induction-types (?) where you need a diploma to figure out how to operate it.
    The camino route passes by the albergue, facilitating an easy exit from town, unless you want to head back to the centro for some breakfast.

    Day 5: Almansa (25kms)

    More sol and more pretty views. I'd been warned about flooding near Almansa, but it turned out to be less of a problem than I thought it would be. It appeared to be a couple of flooded fields that made the official route impassible, but as I was close to the city, and there was a carratera alongside offering an alternative route way, I simply took that for the final 4kms or so.
    I stayed with the nuns in the convent lots on the forum have mentioned (La Congregación Esclaves De Maria). The telephone number I called beforehand (967341557) was wrong -I'm not sure if Pilgr's thread lists the correct one - so I just turned up at their address at#2 Calle Campi. It's easy to find by leaving the Ayunt square to the left (past the big church) and turning right into the Plaza de la Constition 150mtres further on (by the old clock tower). As advised by others, the nuns prefer pilgrims to enter by the back entrance, so turn into the alley with the tattoo shop and ring the bell at #7. Please remember: building #2 at the front is #7 at the back.
    The convent has two single rooms and one double room. I was asked to pay €7 euro. Simply furnished, as you might expect for a convent, there was an English-speaking man on hand to help me communicate with one of the elderly nuns who stamped my credencial.
    There is a tourist office below the castle (exit the square to the right of the Ayunt building, then turn left). Leaving the town is easy: simply follow the ceramic shell tiles that take you behind the big church down Calle Aragon(?) , then left after the final buildings along the road.

    ( A leaflet I picked up in the convent gives a telephone number and email address for the nuns' offices in Valencia. For information, they are: 963915476 / secretaria@esclavesdemaria.org.
     
  5. gracethepilgrim

    gracethepilgrim Active Member Donating Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    416
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2003 CF, 2008 VdlP, 2012 Porto-SdC, 2014 VdlP via Portuguese var, 2015 CPI via Viseu-Chaves-Sanabres, (2107 June Levante)
    More encouragement for more instalments? :D Keep up the great posts. Your detail is super helpful.
     
    Sheffield James likes this.
  6. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    417
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    OK, Round 3....

    Day 6: Alpera (21kms?)

    I had to lose a day before reaching Albacete (more on that later) and so breaking-up the long day from Almansa to Higueruela into two stages seemed the sensible thing to do. Being aware there are no intermediate towns or villages listed for the Levante in between these two points, I booked a room in a hotel in Bonete, which I could see was roughly at the half-way point, albeit off-camino. The day's walking went well - a steady climb towards the front-edge of the large escarpment, followed by a similar easy descent to a track running alongside the Almansa-Albacete railway line. I was able to keep track of my walking pace by reference to some very helpful way-marker signs that gave distances and estimated time durations to the next key place along the route. I was surprised however to find that at one point the signage changed from the 'Camino de Santiago de Levante' to the 'Camino de Santiago de la Lana' ("The Wool Way", that apparently goes from Alicante to Burgos) and, what's more, it indicated the town of Alpera (+ its albergue) was just one hour further on. Most people will probably already have known about this town, but as a non -guide book owner it came as a very pleasant surprise to me. I didn't need to alter my course to get there, either.
    Alpera is a nice, small agricultural town, with some impressive boulevards for a place of its scale. The Ayunt is easy to find by following the street signs, and it's there you'll get the key for the albergue, situated in an adjacent street. The albergue has two rooms with 2+3 beds respectively. It was very clean and the shower was hot. There's a little sitting room, but there are no kitchen facilities. There's a couple of heaters, too. It is free to stay there.
    After cancelling my internet room booking, I settled in for a very relaxing afternoon and evening, with several decent places to eat and drink close by.

    Day 7: Higueruela (19kms)

    After breakfast, I had the choice of retracing my steps to pick up the camino trail at the entry to Alpera, or exiting along the 19km direct road to Hig at the other end of town. I chose the latter. (I seem to recall KinkyOne talks about a third-way on page2 of Pilgr's thread, but it wasn't obvious to me when I went on a reconnaissance walkabout the night before. Admittedly, I didn't look that hard).
    The 19km road walk was exactly that!! The open fields were a pleasure to behold, though it did become a bit monotonous at times. Worse still, I had to withstand a strong, cold wind all the way. At its worst, it was like being in a prolonged wind-tunnel experiment. The many wind turbines nearby suggest that winds are a constant feature of this landscape, though I guess they will feel a little warmer with each passing month.
    After 9kms, the official camino path joined from the left. I don't know how much of it had been path/road to this point, but the next 10kms for either of the two routes I've mentioned were going to be completed with asphalt underfoot.
    Hig is a small town on a hillside. It was a Saturday when I arrived and the Ayunt was closed. I obtained the key for the Albergue at La Posada bar/restaurant/hostel which is on the left as you follow the unmissable street sign directing you to the Albergue de Peregrinos.
    The albergue is situated less than 3 minutes further up the town, in the tiny Plaza Mayor. It is the white building to the right of the tree and has a no-entry street sign on its wall. The key opens the second of the two aluminium doors.
    The albergue has three beds and approx 10 chairs, including a rocking chair. It is one room, but with access to a toilet/shower room across the entrance-way. It has a heater and one blanket. There is no charge to stay there. It is very basic, but I have stayed in a lot worse places. If more comfort is sought, then La Posada may have rooms to rent (I have no tel number, lo siento!)
    The route of the camino through the town is shown on one of the information panels by the children's park once you've arrived in the town. The ceramic concha shells are in good order, too.
    Make sure to enjoy the magnificent vistas over the plains, from the ermitage at the top of the town.

    Day 8: Chinchilla de Montearagón (26kms)

    There was no place open for breakfast on Sunday morning, so I headed out to Hayo Goldazo (?spelling) 9kms away. The trail mixed track- and road-walking, and yesterday's wind was present again, though far less strong. I arrived in HG in time for the 11.30mass, followed by a couple of long-awaited cafe con leches. The afternoon walk to Chinchilla was an absolute delight + not just because it was gently downhill all the way.
    Chinchilla is a 'split-level' town up a hillside, crowned with yet another marvellous castle. You enter at 'level 2' and the first thing you see is an information board detailing things like accommodation options and the camino route through the town. There are 2 hostels on 'level 1', accessible via a 99-step stairway a few metres further on. I stayed at El Volante, a brash place catering for truckers and locals alike (tel:967260059).. I paid 21€ for a tired-looking but ok single room, which was 7€ cheaper at the front-desk than if I'd booked it on the internet the same day. The other hostel, El Peñón (tel: 967260058) is next door, but I didn't bother doing a price comparison. Again, if you're looking for quality ahead of price, you might wish to look elsewhere.
    Chinchilla is an interesting, touristy place. As well as the castle, there's an impressive main square, lots of narrow, winding streets, plus a good number of homes built into the hillside. It's well worth a wander, even after a hard day on the trail.
    The route out of town is easy, as it's back on 'level 2' and follows the contours of the approach road into town. One thing to note is that if you sleep at the hostels down below, you'll have to climb those 99-steps at the start of the next day!!
     
  7. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Maybe 2017 is the Forum's "Year of the Levante!" Can't believe how many people are either there or headed there. Maybe all these posts will encourage others as well. Thanks so much for all this up to date info.
     
    KinkyOne likes this.
  8. gracethepilgrim

    gracethepilgrim Active Member Donating Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New Zealand
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2003 CF, 2008 VdlP, 2012 Porto-SdC, 2014 VdlP via Portuguese var, 2015 CPI via Viseu-Chaves-Sanabres, (2107 June Levante)
    I agree, Laurie. All this Levante activity is really creating some great interest. The various associations along the way must be thrilled with the increase in numbers. Our forum members are doing a super job with regular updates. @Sheffield-James is keeping the momentum up.
     
  9. weekjchammings

    weekjchammings KEITH JOHN

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    258
    Location:
    ABERGAVENNY . WALES . UNITED KINGDOM .
    Camino(s) past & future:
    GR10 HENDAYE - BANYULS SUR MERE 600+ MILES 2002 WITH MY SON.
    ABERGAVENNY - BEAUPREAU TWIN TOWN 2009
    ENGLISH SOUTH WEST COASTAL PATH 630 MILES 2010.
    LE PUY EN VELAY -SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE 2011 1,000+ MILES
    ABERGAVENNY WALES - MONT ST MICHEL - ST JEAN PdP - CAMINO FRANCES FRANCE - FINISTERRE 2013 1,400+ MILES.
    SEVILLA - SANTIAGO VIA DE LA PLATA 2014
    LISBON - PORTO - SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE CAMINO PORTUGUESE. 2016.
    CAMINO DE LEVANTE PLANNED 2017.
    All quiet on the Western Front Sheffield James. I trust you are well certainly missing your very detailed journey comments on the Levante. They are an invaluable source of up to date information, please keep them coming.
     
  10. gracethepilgrim

    gracethepilgrim Active Member Donating Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    416
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2003 CF, 2008 VdlP, 2012 Porto-SdC, 2014 VdlP via Portuguese var, 2015 CPI via Viseu-Chaves-Sanabres, (2107 June Levante)
    Mmm, a week and no posts from James. Hope all goes well on the Levante
     
  11. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    417
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    I posted last night with details of 4 more nights: Albacete to Los Pedroñeras. Somehow, the post has not been published and so all the information appears to have been lost. I'm absolutely gutted.

    I'd be grateful if the moderators could check to see if it can be recovered. In the meantime, I'll provide very brief details of the four missing stopovers later if they can't be retrieved.

    Day 9: Albacete

    Day 10: La Roda

    Day 11: San Clemente

    Day 12: Las Pedroñeras

    --------------

    Day 13: El Toboso (29kms)

    Pleasant, flat landscapes and reasonably well-spaced coffee stops characterised the day's walk. A good few windmills on this stretch, too. We arrived in El Toboso in the late afternoon sunshine and the main square was a delight to behold, including a metal sculpture of Don Quixote attempting to 'woo' his Dulcinea. We stayed with the nuns in the convent next to the Ayunt (tel: 925197173). We paid €20 each for a twin room + a further €10 each for dinner. The meal was tasty and substantial. We chatted to one of the sisters from this enclosed order while we ate. The room was comfortable and the showers were hot.

    In the morning, the only breakfast options were a Panderia and a Churrios van. This meant a morning walk of approx 11 kms before having a 'proper' breakfast in Quintaner.

    The exit from the town takes you directly past the convent in the Ayunt Plaza.

    Day 14: La Villa de Don Fadrique (23kms)

    I didn't take many photos en route to LVde Don Fabrique, so maybe the scenery wasn't quite so spectacular. It was a relatively short day too, with one stop for lunch.

    We stayed at the Casa Rural 'El Rincon del Infante' (tel: 925195651 or 615187921) in the Plaza Mayor for €20 each for a twin room. The accommodation was of a high standard and the hospitality shown to us by Juan and Margarita was both genuine and very generous. Included in the price of the stay was welcome drinks, a laundry service + a hearty breakfast.

    Juan used to be a member of a local Amigo association and he was very keen to offer advice on the route, accommodation options, etc.


    Day 15: Tembleque (29kms)

    We walked 10kms through flat farmlands until we reached the large town of Villacañas (incidentally, with a railway station). We delayed our departure to watch the amazing (+ moving) Palm Sunday procession through the streets, signalling the start of Semana Santa.

    We walked into Templeque with several windmills at its entrance. We had booked a twin room in the Hotel A Posada that morning on the recommendation of Juan, and you can see the big hotel sign to the left as you cross the road bridge over the autovia. It was well worth the €20 each we paid (including breakfast), plus the room has a full-length bath for those people who, like me, view a good long soak to be a special treat.

    Templeque has a nice feel to it. In some respects, it resembles a typical Andalusian pueblo, and it has a most characterful Plaza Mayor.

    You exit the town from the street behind the church. We were very fortunate to see the local townspeople decorating the ornate Semantic Santa processional floats in the enormous interior the night before.

    Day 16: Mora (26kms)

    We took food for a picnic this day as there are no intermediate towns. The path is flat for the first part of the day, and runs close to the fairly quiet main road. The path crosses the road at roughly the halfway point, and there is a steady climb most of the way from there on.

    Mora has the feel of a working town, with little we could see of touristic interest. With a growing sense of concern about the availability of accommodation during Semana Santa, we booked a twin room in the comfortable hotel 'Los Conejos' for €55 on the internet (excluding breakfast). It was more than we wanted to pay, but it was a case of 'Hobson's Choice' under the circumstances.

    The exit markings from the town should be visible from around the back of the main church.
     
  12. ivar

    ivar Administrator Staff Member Donating Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Santiago de Compostela, Spain
    The forum does "auto-save" responses as you write them if you have a connection to the internet when you write... (if not , then no). When you go back to a thread and there are something saved, it will show up in the text box where you write:
    Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 11.06.56.png

    ...if you see nothing there, then there is nothing I can do :(.

    TIP: A tip for the future might be to write it up in another application (a note application if you are on your phone for example) then copy /paste it into the forum once you have finished writing. Then you have a copy on your notes app...
     
  13. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

    Joined:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    Hi, so nice to read this! Wow, Algemesí the first day - I split that in two. Xativa: I didn't visit the castle either, ha ha. Bad pilgrim. El Palau is indeed a good place to stay!

    /BP
     
  14. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    417
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Here is a potted summary of the 4-days covered in my earlier 'lost' post.

    Day 9: Albacete (15kms)

    - descend from the rear-side of Chinchilla, then very straightforward walk on the flat to Albacete.
    - there is a 2-bed municipal albergue in the town, but it is reserved solely for traditional 'sheep drovers'.
    - Booked a twin-room in Hostal Atienzar on the recommendation of Pedro from the local Amigos Association. He said it is popular with pilgrims.
    - paid €35 for the room via the internet. The guy in charge said he'd have offered a cheaper rate had I gone direct. Nice, clean place.
    - you can reach the hotel by walking across the front of the modern Ayunt, away from the cathedral. Calle del Carmen is almost directly facing you across the street.
    - a walking companion joined me in Albacete, so I'll be using "we" instead of "I" from now on.
    - exit town by walking down boulevard 'Paseo la Cuba' past the old train display, then work over to the bridge over the railway line on your right.

    Day 10: La Roda (35kms)

    - a long, flat walk to La Gineta, roughly 20kms away.
    - La Gineta is a sleepy place apart from Los Chopos, the lively motorway service station. You exit the town from here.
    - another long straight walk until you get closer to La Roda, where the landscape becomes more scenic.
    - we phoned the Amigos in the early afternoon (tel: 630440215 or 669290802) to try to confirm places would be available in the albergue, located in the 'infirmary' of the town's bull ring. phoned on arrival + they came to let us in. The bull ring is slightly before and to the left of the town centre.
    - the accommodation comprised 5 beds, a microwave and hot shower. Donativo.
    - the Amigos were v friendly and were able to advise on both the Levante and Sureste routes.

    Day 11: San Clemente (31kms, going on 39)
    - a lovely walk through agricultural land to Minyana, which provided a much appreciated lunch stop.
    - the Levante and Sureste routes diverge here, so keep an eye out for the Antolin restaurant, where you cross the carratera in the direction of San Clemente.
    - the distance to San Clemente appears much greater than we appreciated, but there is a welcome pit-stop to break-up the afternoon.
    - the Plaza Mayor in San Clemente is very impressive architecturally. We got the albergue key from the tourist office in the main square.
    - the albergue is 2 mins from the square + has three beds and a crash mat. Hot shower. No kitchen. No charge.
    - late start the next day to allow time for sightseeing.
    - exit the town by continuing down the street of the albergue or by the corner of the square to the left of the tourist office.
    - be aware that the camino de Santa Cruz leaves from the main square, so there may be yellow arrows pointing in a different direction.

    Day 12: Las Pedroñeras (25kms)

    - more pleasant walking through agricultural land. Got lost by missing a marker, but a helpful farmer got us back on track. A ruined castle with a tower ( Torre de Santiago?) is good to aim for on the horizon if lost like we were.
    - the two known lodgings ( "Bomba" and "Casa Mauricio") were both full when we phoned (CM tel: 610878574) arrival in the town. The owner of Casa Mauricio kindly offered us beds in a nearby house and charged us a reduced rate of €15 each because the rooms were being redecorated at the time. The next day we bumped into a pilgrim who gave us the business card of an albergue in the town ( Convento de Los Sagrados Corazones, Calle Montoya, tel: 653420272; 610621084) which we were unaware existed.
    - FYI: Las Pedroñeras is the garlic capital of Spain.
    - exit town by picking up the main carretera at the end of the town a few hundred metres below the church.
     
  15. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Day 17: Toledo (36kms, or 31kms)

    - we followed the camino signs and enjoyed reasonably well-spaced rest-stops from Mora until lunch at Nambroca. We then decided to take the MundiCamino route into Toledo, as it seemed to be much more direct. A big mistake!!! The route was fine upto Las Nieves, but then we were forced to walk behind the barriers on the autovia for a couple of kilometres, which was both unpleasant and quite dangerous. Moreover, we were denied the magnificent approach to the city along the official route. So, my recommendation is: "don't do it!"
    - we booked bunk beds in a 4-bed dorm in the Oasis backpackers hostel via the internet. Situated in Calle Cadenas at the top of the town, it is very close to all the main attractions. We paid €40 each for the two-night stay. We had no reason to fault the place It would be hard to fault the place at this price + the rooftop terrace provides a great view of the Alt castle.

    Day 18: Toledo (rest day) I won't describe Toledo as it would involve writing so many superlatives + I'm sure you'll want to discover it for yourselves.

    Day 19: Torrijos (32kms)

    - exit the city through the arch by the Moorish Church of Santiago, and at the roundabout look for the road north (Avenida de la Reconquista) where you start to see the arrows. The route climbs steadily out of town and you will start walking on the carratera at a roundabout just before a big supermarket. If you walk past the supermarket, you've missed the turning..like we did!!
    - with the exception of a petrol/gas station 5kms out of town, there's no towns or villages to stop for refreshments until Rielves a good distance further on.
    - the walk becomes much more agreeable when the path heads away from the carratera and into the countryside.
    - the bar at Rielves is hard to find and we gave up our fruitless search and continued walking to Barcience a few kms away.
    - we understand there is a basic albergue in Rielves, with 2beds but no shower.
    - we booked accommodation in the hotel spa La Salve in Torrijos because we were unaware that there is a municipal albergue in town. (Note to self: invest in a guide book next time). We paid a small fortune for a twin room, with the price considerably higher than usual due to it being a Semana Santa holiday. The hotel is well-worth considering if you want to treat yourselves.
    We looked at the donativo albergue the next morning as it is in the street directly across from the historic Ayunt/Policia Local/tourist office building. It is a good size, has all expected amenities, and... there was a wifi code on the wall.

    Day 20: Escalona (25kms)

    - we exited Torrijos past the Ayunt and enjoyed a break at the next village 4-5kms farther on.
    - after a while walking alongside the carretera the route goes through open farmlands with a mountain range in the background.
    - we broke the rest of the day in two by stopping for lunch in the town of Maqueda.
    - the second half of the day continued in a similar vein until we reached the walled -city of Escalona.
    - we contacted the Policia Local and were told to wait until 8 o' clock before they would give us the key to the albergue. The bar 'El Lazarillo' (?sp) in the main square gave us a sello while we waited.
    - the police drove us to the albergue, just a few minutes out of town. It seemed unnecessary, but we did as we were told. A Good Friday Semana Santa procession was being held that evening, so maybe they wanted to get us out of the way before they turned their attention to crowd control matters.
    - the albergue had plenty of room for pilgrims. It had a warm-ish shower but no cooking facilities. It looked a little bit neglected in appearance, but the beds were comfortable and it was a quiet place to stay. For the first time since Xativa, I had the company of others in an albergue (2 non-camino Spanish cyclists). No charge for the albergue.
    - for the second night in succession, we marvelled at the spectacular Semana Santa procession through the town square. The hooded outfits of the 'penitent' marchers were more than a bit scary, I have to confess!!
    - evening meals and breakfasts can be found in or just off the main square.
     
  16. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    Thanks, it's great fun following you.

    Hostal Atienzar in Albacete: yes I stayed there. I didn't know it was popular amongst pilgrims. I remember (I don't know why) that the price was 28 euros and that there's another place just across the street with roughly the same price. But this was in 2014.

    The owner of Casa Mauricio: very friendly! I liked that place. I can imagine he/she helped you find another place to sleep, she was very kind - and fun - chatting to. I think they're a couple, but she's the one running the accomodation? She told me they didn't have any problems with vampires in Las Pedroñeras since it's the garlic capital of Spain... Followed by numerous jokes about garlic... She and her partner/husband own the gym nearby, to which I went (not to work out unfortunately, but to get the keys and pay). I'm glad she was friendly because this woman was made of muscles from head to toe...!

    /BP
     
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  17. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    There are at least two bars and they are normally visible from the Camino. Perhaps closed for the Holiday?

    /BP
     
  18. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    One more entry before bedtime:

    Day 21: San Martin (26.5kms?)

    - we left Escalona and followed markers to Paredes de Escalona. We could have walked the carretera direct to Almorox (7kms), but we took the more scenic route which added about 2kms. After a coffee in a lovely main square, we continued on the carretera in the direction of San Martin (17kms away). After 7kms, we tired of the uphill slog so we diverted on a minor road left to Cadalso de Los Vidrios, 7kms from the main carretera, which was also uphill virtually all of the way there. Having lunched there, we followed the Sureste signage in the direction of Cebreros. This path took us through some of the most spectacular countryside we have enjoyed to date, albeit making it a longer walk to San Martin. Over the course of the day, we estimated having walked about 34kms rather than the 26.5kms if we had followed the official Levante route for this stage.

    - on the basis of a belief there was no albergue in San Martin, we phoned Hostal Pilar, Calle de Pilar (tel: 918 612 114) reserving a twin room for €20 each. The accommodation was satisfactory. We had a pleasant meal in the town centre before attending an Easter Vigil ceremony in the town church.

    - because of the longer than expected day's walk and the fact it was the Easter weekend, we had contemplated staying two nights in the town. However, reminded of immortal words of UK comedians Morecambe + Wise, who once said of a town that "it lacked nothing but charm", we decided to save our rest day until another time.
     
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  19. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    We followed the signs BP and searched for a good 10 mins for a bar. All we found was a modern housing estate next to the railway line. We have been told there are bars but they must have been nearer the carretera than we were prepared to venture.
     
  20. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    oh oh oh, drum roll.... Tomorrow is that day, that spectacular mountain day, at least if you decide to go all the way to San Bartalome de los Pinares. Hoping the weather is good for you! And the bulls! So cool to see those ancient sculptures. BTW, if you decide to stop in Cebreros (which is really before the real spectacular mountain beauty begins), looks like the museum on the Spanish transition to democracy is an interesting one, but I missed it. Cebreros is Adolfo Suarez's home town, so they put the museum in a local church there and it did look interesting.

    Sounds like you are having a great camino, James. When you say "we" does that mean you have met other pilgrims or did you start out with someone else? I keep waiting for that long overdue explosion of Levante pilgrims that never seems to come! Buen camino, Laurie
     
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  21. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    274
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    417
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    I'm on a roll now........

    Day 22: San Bartolome de Los Pinares (32kms)

    - we left town with the bullring on our left and followed the yellow markers back to the Levante/Sureste trail. We could have taken the national carretera instead and thereby saved about 3kms, but that would have meant missing out on a visit to the historic site, Toros de Guisando, where the royal succession of Isabel of Castille was agreed. Shortly after this, we recrossed the carretera, moving on to an inland path that marked the climb up to Cebreros. Thankfully, we were guided along this 9kms by freshly-painted flechas preventing us going astray among boulder-strewn hillsides.

    - Cebreros had a lively town square, being Easter Sunday afternoon, and we relaxed enjoying the panoramic views back south before continuing up to San Bartolome.

    - the first 2kms out of Cebreros involved a very steep climb up to the Puerto de Arrebatacapa. There followed a series of ups and downs before we reached a road junction, 4kms shy of our destination. We chose the 4kms descent along a country road rather than continue along the hill path.

    - we stayed at the albergue in the town health centre (showering at the sports centre next door). There were 6 beds, a microwave and map of the next day's walk into Avila. We had telephoned the hospitalera two days previously who asked that we call upon arrival (tel: 615 776 525 or 920 270 001).

    - wishing you good luck if you should try to find the town's only restaurant (El Patio). We asked two locals for directions, both independently saying it was "complicada". We settled for vino and pinchos in the local bars.

    - much as we enjoyed the spectacular countryside , on reflection we formed the view that it would have been better to have ended the day in Cebreros. Maybe we would then have visited the Suarez museum while there.

    - one can exit the town two ways the next morning, but both meet up soon afterwards. Make sure to take some food with you as there is only one village before Avila and the bar there (El Herradon) opens late.

    Day 23: Ávila (25kms)

    - the first half of the walking day required more prolonged and sometimes stiff climbing, up to Puerto del Boquerón. From this point, the camino descends into Ávila. We decided to take the carretera route the last 10kms or so, but there is also a cross-country route if you are not too tired at this point.

    - on reaching Ávila, we headed for the albergue de Peregrinos. To get there involves following the city walls in an anti clockwise direction heading down west to the Puerta archway at the river, Adaja.

    - we called the hospitalero on arrival at the albergue (tel: 699 327 792) agreeing a time when he would let us in. The albergue is a modern building, well-appointed, with a working washing machine, lots of camino information materials. There are ten beds in bunks over three rooms. Donativo. It is obviously a well-maintained albergue with a helpful and friendly hospitalero (Pedro).

    Day 24: Ávila rest day

    - the albergue is one night only so we had to book a 2nd night's accommodation (choosing El Rastro) near the cathedral (tel: 920 352 225). We paid €20 each for a twin room, which was clean, comfortable, and characterful in a tranquil square.

    - you can decide how to spend your time in Ávila, but we enjoyed visits to the cathedral and St Theresa's Casa Natal, plus a walk on the city walls.

    At this point, my 'live report' is completely up-to-date. It's 9am on Wed 19th April and me and my compañero are heading out to Gotarrenduar 25kms away.
     
  22. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    @peregrina2000, the "we" refers to me and a friend who were meant to start walking together in Valencia but he couldn't join me before Albacete.

    Pilgrim numbers are very low. I've seen just two individuals, two couples and two cyclists since leaving Valencia.
     
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  23. JLWV

    JLWV Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Levante (2014-2016)
    Levante 2017 initiated
    This is moving, this morning we atended form Levante way 1 french man, 1 portuguese for France, 3 German, 2 belgian, and 2 french ladies, all to begin between today and next week...
     
  24. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
    Finisterre ('11, '16),
    Madrid ('14),
    Invierno ('14),
    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    That is absolutely great news. Levante, same as some of other less walked Caminos, really deserves more attention and pilgrims.
     
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  25. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    That's usually the case from Ávila which seems to be a popular starting point. I've met a bubble of 4-6 people since Ávila every time, but usually met NONE until around Escalona... :Oo
     
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  26. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
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    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Day 25: Gotorrendura (24kms)

    - you can follow the yellow arrows from the Plaza Mayor that take you out of Ávila through the arch by the albergue + across the river. Turn right and soon you will come to a viewing point that affords great views of the city walls, cathedral, etc. The morning sun made it hard to take the 'killer' photos we wanted, so it would probably make sense to take the photos the night before if possible, especially if the walls are floodlit.
    - it didn't take long to reach the first village, but we didn't see a bar where we could take a short break.
    - the signage was good until we reached a road crossing near a railway bridge. We ignored the big camino sign taking us hard-left and, instead, we crossed the road (marked "Privader"?) and veered slightly left to follow some freshly painted arrows a few metres beyond. This took us directly to Cardeñosa, 11kms from Ávila.
    - Cardeñosa, offered a couple of bars and a shop (closed from 2pm on a Wednesday). There are plenty of arrows through the place but we had to ask one of the locals where to find the shops and bars, as they were not immediately obvious. Aware of the possibility of no bar/restaurant at Gotorrendura, we bought food before leaving the village, with the side of the church over to our right.
    - the walking today was fairly easy with gradual ups followed by a gentle descent in the second half of the day. The landscape became more impressive as the day progressed. The vista opened up after Cardeñosa to reveal a marvellous panoramic view of the plains/meseta ahead.
    - Gotorrendura has an information board at its entrance that shows you how to get to the square with the Ayunt, museo and bar. We arrived at 3.30pm and the lady in the bar took us to the modern albergue touristico, which has separate sections for pilgrims and tourists. The facilities for pilgrims comprise a 4-bunk room, kitchen, bathroom, washing machine, courtyard and a communal space. The pilgrim accommodation is donativo, whereas the cost is €15 to stay in the touristico rooms. For only the third time on our camino, we shared the albergue with a fellow pilgrim; a Spaniard walking the Sureste route.
    - we arranged to eat at the bar, where the food was both tasty and filling. We felt grateful it was possible to get a hot meal, as others have reported being less fortunate on previous occasions. We were prompted to think about leaving at approx 8pm, as the bar was set to close.
    - the village has strong associations with St Theresa of Ávila and it was one of the stopping points of the funeral cortège of Queen Isabella The Catholic.
     
  27. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    Yes, but Tornadizos de Ávila is close to the Camino and just adds a few kilometer to the stage. I have always ended up there because I must miss some arrow. Both times , when approaching Ávila, people going for a walk have met me to tell me I'm wrong and that I should have made some turn I don't know where to stay on the Camino. But I don't complain. Tornadizos de Ávila is so close, there's a fuente and a modern bar and I recommend stopping for a café con leche after that long walk in the mountains! From Tornadizos you just follow the road (CL-505) that leads to Ávila. You can walk beside the road for the most part so you're not walking right next to the cars. :O)

    /BP
     
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  28. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
    Finisterre ('11, '16),
    Madrid ('14),
    Invierno ('14),
    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Gotarrendura is also first stage of Camino Teresiano and is believed that St.Teresa was born in this village. If you face the Ayto./Centro Social proceed by its left side and you'll bump into it if I remember correctly:
    https://www.google.si/maps/@40.8264...jclRb5BYHdWQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=sl
    There's also a museum opposite the Ayto across the plaza.
     
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  29. gracethepilgrim

    gracethepilgrim Active Member Donating Member

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    Location:
    New Zealand
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2003 CF, 2008 VdlP, 2012 Porto-SdC, 2014 VdlP via Portuguese var, 2015 CPI via Viseu-Chaves-Sanabres, (2107 June Levante)
    Wow! I have a lot to update in my Levante notes now. Thanks for all the extra bits of info BP and Kinky.
    James, you sound like you are on a roll now. Thanks for the hint about takiing scenic shots leaving Avila. I’ll definitely do that the night before (if I make it that far)
    It must be great having a walking companion. I’m crossing fingers I can meet up with other pilgrims in May/June but not holding my breath :D
     
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  30. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Day 26: Arévalo (28kms)

    - we exited Gotarrendura by the church and walked 3-4kms to the next village for breakfast. The camino weaved away from the carretera at intervals, so we had the choice of taking this slightly longer option or sticking to the main road from village to village. The first half of the day was easy walking thru' open, flat farmland with several coffee-stops.
    - lunch was taken at Tiñosillos, before the final 15kms were walked through a lovely pine forest, with sandy soil underfoot.
    - we planned to stay at the Cistercian convent in Arēvalo (tel: 920300231) but changed our minds when we realised it was outside the town and we would have had to walk back in to visit the city and have a meal. Instead, we booked a twin room at Hotel Fray Juan Gil on the internet (920300800), paying €45 for the privilege. Breakfast tomorrow morning will be €3.50 each.
    - the city has a few interesting sights to see, including a fine castle, so we were pleased with our decision to find lodgings in the town.
    - we met a German pilgrim in Tiñosillos today who had set off from Ávila this morning. By the time she walked into Arévalo with us in the late afternoon, she had completed an incredible 53kms in one day.
     
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  31. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    A quick question: can anyone recommend accommodation for the two nights after Medina del Campo (Sieteiglesis and Toro)? Ideally, we are looking for albergue, but as you may have realised by now, we're not too proud to stay in posher places too.
     
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  32. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    Toro: Pensión Zamora! :O)

    /BP
     
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  33. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    The albergue in Sieteiglesias is inside the town hall, on the third floor. Two bunk beds, little bathroom, spotless (since it is cleaned daily by the cleaning staff of the town). You will get the key to the town hall from the mayor. There is (or was) a little food shop on the same "main street." The roadside highway hotel (not the creepy old one where Reb and JohnnieWalker stayed) has a very popular truck stop kind of restaurant with decent food.

    I second the recommendation of Pension Zamora in Toro. Family run, very accommodating. The shower requires a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering to operate, however. There is no way for you to get out without having a person unlock the door so you can go through the bar and out, but the son was more than happy (or at least didn't complain to us) to get up very early, serve us breakfast, and let us out.

    And if you like Romanesque, you've got a jewel in town!

    If you've followed our threads on the cottonwood forest before Zamora, I hope Kinky's photos will help you avoid getting lost like we did. As is so frequently the case, it's an instance where the arrows take you off the "obvious path," so if you are not paying attention it is very easy to go astray. Buen camino, Laurie
     
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  34. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Finisterre ('11, '16),
    Madrid ('14),
    Invierno ('14),
    Levante ('15+'??),
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    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    I second Laurie on albergue (3€) in Sieteiglesias but would recommend restaurant next door to Ayto. Excellent homemade food, one of the best quality & quantity vs. price ratio I've experienced in Spain. Very friendly couple owning it.

    In Toro I stayed in Monasterio de Dominicas "Sancti Spiritus" on c/del Canto 27 (980-690-304). It's donativo and, of course, spotless. You can easily find it because it's on Camino but a little further on from the town center.
    When coming to Toro you don't have to take marked Camino which veers to the right and makes a loop, instead you can just go straight up the street after crossing the bridge. But it's steep :)
     
  35. alansykes

    alansykes Veteran Member

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    When I called the Cistercians in Arévalo I was told they no longer took pilgrims, but to go to the local police, who gave me a key to the simple but adequate (and free) albergue in the sports hall. A room with bunk beds and a shower/loo. If staying on a Friday or Saturday, sleep will come late as there is likely to be an enthusiastic crowd supporting the basketball teams playing immediately overhaed until 2 or 3am.
     
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  36. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Wow, I am virtually 100% certain there was no restaurante in Sieteiglesias when I was there, or I'm sure we would have eaten in it. Or maybe it was its weekly closing day. I just don't remember seeing a restaurant, though I did spend some time talking with the woman who owned the little grocery store on the other side of the street from the Ayuntamiento and down a bit. Typical small town story -- dying town, only old folks left, with a few families coming back because of the cost of living and commuting to work.

    K1, you have an unbelievable skill in finding all of these albergues, I didn't even know there was one in Toro.
     
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  37. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
     

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  38. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Madrid ('14),
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    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    :D
    Outside of albergue in Toro in attachments...
     

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  39. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    I have a picture taken out the window from the albergue, too. But mine shows a very different kind of sky. Luckily it came through after we were done with eating and walking!

    IMG_0775.JPG
     
  40. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Day 27: Medina del Campo (33kms)

    - exit Arévalo by crossing bridge over the rio Adaja near the castle. The route is well signposted and the first village, Palacios de Goda is not that far away. After a couple more hours walking through open countryside, we passed an abandoned, 'melting' village, spoke briefly to a Guardia Civil patrol driving along the camino path and then soon arrived in Ataquines, the mid-point of the day's stage.
    - - we entered the town over the road bridge and exited over a white pedestrian footbridge 300 metres farther on. The town has quite a few shops and bars.
    - San Vicente de Palacio is the only pueblo between Ataquines and Medina del Campo. 50-100 metres after passing the church (on your left) you will see yellow arrows and a GR-marker telling you to turn left. We were stopped by two locals, who told us this would take us on a much longer path than if we carried straight on past the red-walled cemetery, into the countryside. They were most insistent we took their advice + we didn't dare disappoint them. Before doing so, however, we made our way over to the nearby petrol/gas station-restaurant for afternoon refreshments in what appeared to be the only bar in town.
    - if there was a downside to taking the locals' advice, then it would be the fact our path involved walking near to the autovia for a large part of the final stretch into Medina.
    - on arrival, we passed the Hotel San Roque and an ermita named after the same saint. Within a matter of minutes we turned left into a quiet street and passed a Dia supermarket, before crossing a main road to the Albergue de Juvenil.
    - we'd contacted the person in charge at lunchtime (tel: 983811357 or 610002470 or 983812578) and been told to call him just before we arrived. As it happens, the building was open and the same person gave us a nice welcome, accepted €15 each for a twin room and breakfast, then showed us to our modern and spacious room, complete with fresh linen. The albergue caters for individuals and groups, incl tourists, though we might have been the only two people staying tonight. The albergue is roughly 1km from the Plaza Mayor.
    - after a comfortable night's sleep, we walked into town to see what sights might be open for a quick visit before making our way to Sieteiglesias.
    - for info, Medina is the Moorish word for a fortified city. It is famous for being the place where Queen Isabella the Catholic died, and her funeral cortège passed along parts of the Levante route to Ávila, an then on to her final resting place in the Cathedral at Grenada.
     
  41. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    That's a real slog. It's clearly shorter since it's straight, next to the autovía, but the other route must be more pleasant. I have arrived exhausted every time in Medina del Campo because the autovía is so tiresome...
     
  42. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    I was actually there but no-one answered my calls... That's why I ended up in the Pensión Zamora... :OI
     
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  43. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Madrid ('14),
    Invierno ('14),
    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Dominican nuns are in seclusion (is that right expression?) and they prey a lot. I called and rang the bell and nobody answered. It was still quite early in the day and I just sat there and enjoyed the peace when suddenly small window in the doors opened and a nun invited me to enter the room to the right of that doors. There were two nuns behind the bars. It looked like a post office or bank from a western movie :) They stamped my credencial, gave me the paper with photos explaining how to find my room and asked me to say a prayer for them when in Santiago. Very nice and kind of touching although I'm not a religious person. The room was impeccable, same was the bathroom and there was an envelope for donation. Never saw another nun there. Something special about that place, so quiet and tranquil.
     
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  44. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    I actually slept in San Vicente de Palacio. "Albergue" is one foam mattress on a floor of a classroom for hair-dressers :D But the toilets and showers were clean and with hot water.
    There was a bar on the Plaza in 2015 but might be closed now if you haven't noticed it at all. The street to gasolinera is the one that goes directly from the Plaza.

    In Medina I think better option to stay overnight is in Convent of the Barefoot Carmelites on c/El Almirante (983-800-126 or 669-211-481). They offer single rooms with wash basin for 10€. Also some fruits, fridge and living room with TV to use. Maybe less than 100mts from Plaza Mayor.
     
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  45. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Breaking News:

    Day 28: Siete Iglesias del Trabancos (25kms)

    - we made our way from the Plaza Mayor in Medina this morning to the Church of Santiago Real, then crossed the road to see arrows pointing down two adjacent streets. We took the one to the left and exited the town along by a local railway line. A sign pointing us to Nava del Rey at a bridge over the line confirmed we were heading in the right direction.
    - the morning walk was fairly unremarkable but NdR with its massive church looked very impressive + welcoming in the afternoon sunshine. We lingered in the town for a couple of hours as we expected there would be little to do once we arrived at Siete Iglesias. The church looked even more majestic at close-quarters and we couldn't believe how the town could have such a big church while also containing some of the tiniest dwellings we'd ever seen.
    - The countryside became more beautiful in the afternoon. @gracethepilgrim, we encountered two loose dogs outside an isolated farm, but their bark was much worse than their bite + our walking poles kept them at bay until the farmer brought them to heel.
    - Siete Iglesias was not as I expected. It has at least 4 bars (2 of which were definitely open), a signpost to a casa rural, a hostel and a truck-stop bar/restaurant. We phoned the Ayunt on arrival (tel: 983816006) but no-one answered (it was Sat pm). We were directed to the Plaza Mayor, which is 100 metres down either street running directly behind the far side of the church.
    - the Ayunt is on Calle Real and is flanked by 2 bars. A women in the bar on the left kindly phoned for someone to let us into the albergue in the Ayunt. The bar advertises a pilgrims' menu in its window.
    - the albergue has 4 beds and a toilet/shower room. It costs €3. A good choice.
    - only 13 pilgrims have stayed here in 2017 (15 counting us).
    - we ate tonight in the truck-stop bar. We elected to have a very reasonably-priced platos combinados, but could have eaten something grander in the restaurant if we'd wished.
     
  46. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    These are great reports! Something must really be going on with my memory, because I had no memory of one, much less two bars in Sieteiglesias! That's great that people will come open up on the weekend. Even more astonishing to me is that the ayuntamiento will trust total strangers with the outdoor key to the whole municipal office building. I know the inner doors are locked, but still it's pretty astonishing to me!

    Buen camino, thanks so much for entertaining the "Levante Fans."
     

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  47. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Laurie, you tell me about the churches and I'll tell you about the bars :D

    PS (@Charrito might be helpful on this topic too ;))
     
  48. gracethepilgrim

    gracethepilgrim Active Member Donating Member

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    James - thanks for thinking of me (re - dogs) ;);) I was considering leaving my pole behind as I’m trying hard to get pack weight down (neck/back issue) this year. Perhaps I’ll reconsider. :)
    Countdown begins for me - 30 days.
     
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  49. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    My two cents on this is that leaving your poles behind, even though the Levante is pretty flat (except for those days between Toledo and Avila), could create new issues with knees that you haven't even thought about. Unless you are decades younger than I am!

    So when are you planning to arrive in Santiago? Would love to meet you-- I hope to be there in early July. Buen camino, Laurie
     
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  50. gracethepilgrim

    gracethepilgrim Active Member Donating Member

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    Laurie - I’ve PM’d you so we don’t hijack James wonderful posts :)
     
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  51. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    You two already did it but I'm sure James don't mind it :D

    Ultreia, James!
     
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  52. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Day 29: Toro (28kms)

    - we left Siete Iglesias early on Sunday morning by walking the short distance down Calle Real and into open countryside (past another bar and a tienda). I guess we could have breakfasted at the truck-stop, but it was in the opposite direction, so we walked 8kms through an 'invigorating', undulating landscape to Castronuño in search of our usual coffee, orange and tostadas desayunos.
    - our first 'Wow!' of the day was a panoramic view of the Rio Duero from the top of the town. What a glorious spot to sit awhile and drink in the most splendid of vistas. Follow the yellow arrows and you won't miss it! The arrows weren't as clear in guiding us down to the carretera below, but a very chatty lady pointed the way. We walked between the road and the river for a short distance, before the road took us on to Villafranca de Duero, 7kms away.
    - VdD is a small pueblo. It has a couple of bars,but only one was open today. It has a tienda that has no external signage, so we were lucky the owner was standing outside when we went looking for it. It might be a useful insurance policy to have some food with you just in case the shop is closed (our pub on the main road didn't do any food) when you pass through.
    - leave town past the modern church on your right. Note two yellow arrows point to the minor road + to a woodland path next to it. Take the woodland path if you want to use the picnic spot by the river, but then return to the road. If you continue through the woodland path -as we did- you will come to some woodland dwellings with a loose dog to scare you away.
    - we quickly returned to the path + enjoyed a lovely walk to a tiny hamlet, where we took a break. We continued following the GR-markings, but maybe we could have shaved off a km or so by turning left rather than sticking to the GRs.
    - we ended up at a carretera, which we walked alongside for some of the last 5-6kms into Toro.
    - the sight of Toro from distance, and from close-up, provided our second major 'Wows!' of the day.
    - we entered town over an old stone bridge and made the steep climb (yes, Kinky, you are so right!) directly up to the imposing Collegiate Church of Santa Maria at the top of the cliff. The view back over the day's walk provided yet another 'Wow!'
    - we stayed at the Dominican convent of 'Sancti Spiritus' (tel: 980690304) on Calle El Canto. If you enter town over the metal framed road bridge, you'll walk directly past it on your way into town. If you do what we did, you'll need to make your way through some narrow streets for 5-7 minutes from the Church, roughly following the contours of the cliff face.
    - the nuns were lovely, but you may need to ring the bell persistently to gain their attention. Alternatively, their 'dulces' shop may still be open if you arrive before 7pm. The rooms are furnished simply. Sheets/towels are provided. No curfew. Donativo.
    - Toro has some lovely plazas, with architecture and views that must bring in the tourists. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the town centre.
     
  53. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    I don't mind at all. I'm just glad it is of some interest/help.
     
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  54. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    BP,
    for info, Penson Zamora was shut the day we were there. The Meson next door was open, though.
     
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  55. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    As you know, Zamora is the end of the Levante. As such, it will be my final 'live report from the camino'. Just preparing you for the silence. In Saludo!
     
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  56. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
  57. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    Oh it's sad to know this report will come to an end! Will you continue on the Sanabrés after Zamora?

    /BP
     
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  58. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
    Finisterre ('11, '16),
    Madrid ('14),
    Invierno ('14),
    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    James you actually didn't walk on official Camino. The route along the Duero is called Senda de Almendros. Official Camino has many ups and downs and I guess that's why locals (hospitalera in my case) suggest to take the flat one.

    Be alert tomorrow between Villalazan and Villaralbo. When you will come to this shed:
    2015-07-13 10.09.24.jpg
    Stay on wider track which veers to the left. You can see the yellow arrow once past the shed because it's on the other side of it :rolleyes:
     
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  59. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    I found that to be one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Levante, enough colours even in July, although different shades of brown of course... I always thought it must be wonderful in Spring, with more colors/green...!
     
  60. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    I didn't even get to that split. I got lost somewhere else and ended up in a village outside the map... That is really a tricky part of the camino...
     
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  61. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    We walked the Sanabrés last year BP, so we've chosen to take a different route this year. The forward plan is mentioned in my Day30 report.
     
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  62. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    @KinkyOne, it pains me to say the last two days of the Levante have caused the most problems in terms of following the official camino path (thankfully, the GR markings still got us from A to B). I'd love to know how we got side-tracked on the days from Siete Iglesias to Toro, and from Toro to Zamora. I dreamt a lot about the infamous white hut these past few days, so I feel a bit cheated that I didn't get to follow your advice to avoid problems there).
     
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  63. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Agreed!
     
  64. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    It was wonderful, BP. The morning sun really accentuated the colours of the growing crops, freshly-ploughed fields + tree-lines.
     
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  65. Sheffield James

    Sheffield James Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    May-June 2013:
    C. Frances; Fisterra / Muxia; C. Inglés
    June-Aug 2014:
    Via Francigena, Canterbury-> Rome.
    May-June 2015:
    Hospitalero, San Anton, Castrojeriz;
    C. Primitivo; C. Portuguese(Tui->SdC).
    Nov-Dec 2015:
    Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    C. Del Salvador.
    May-June 2016:
    VdlP/Sanabrés; C. Invierno.
    November 2016: Camino de Madrid
    Nov-Dec 2016: Ditch-pig (Moratinos)
    Day 30: Zamora (~30km) - Monday 24 April 2017

    - we breakfasted in town before walking back to the convent, then down the hill and across the metal road bridge. After a km or so, we turned right on a signposted track, with the river to our right and the carretera away off to the left.
    - at this point, it bears saying that the GR markers were more prominent than the yellow arrows + at some early stage we lost them altogether.
    - thanks for the reminder about the hut in the forest,@KinkyOne. Sadly, we never got to walk in the forest at all today. A pleasant path took us through flat farmland, then we turned right at a farmtrack t-junction and continued walking by the river's tree-line until we were forced to make a decision about which direction to go at a crossroads in the path. Turning right would have meant entering the forest, whereas turning left meant walking to the carretera. As the yellow arrows had disappeared altogether at this point, we thought it too much of a risk to enter the forest at a random opening, so we walked the GR-path/carretera into Villalazan for 'elevenses'.
    - we looked for camino signs beyond the village but there were none, so we continued along the carretera to Villarablo, 8kms farther on. There is an archeological site along this stretch of the road, which you can just about look into through the metal grill enclosure. At the exit to the Villarablo, we were pleased to see an opportunity to walk off-road for the last 5kms into Zamora, but yet again we were following GR-markings rather than the official camino signs. Our walking poles came to our aid again as we came across two loose dogs, but, thankfully, like all the dogs we've encounter along the camino, they were deterred by the waving motion of the sticks.
    - we entered Zamora across the Roman bridge, then followed the signposts to the municipal albergue, 5 minutes away. The albergue is a great place to stay. The hospitaleras were extremely welcoming and we were the only pilgrims sleeping in our 10-bed room. A total of 13 pilgrims stayed last night, but the 'completo' sign had been posted the night before (30bed limit). We arrived at 5pm, which would have been too late for a bed had we arrived yesterday. The albergue provides sheets/pillows and breakfast (served at 7am). Donativo.
    -
    - So, my Levante journey is over. It has taken 28 walking days + 2 rest days to arrive here in Zamora. Incredibly, it hasn't rained at all while I've walked, for which I've been most thankful. The nearest to getting wet was when trying to dodge the sprinkler systems irrigating the fields at the side of the track.
    - I hope to post a few general observations of our Levante experience before signing-off officially later this afternoon.
    - Tomorrow, my friend and I will begin the walk to Astorga. From there, the plan is to walk 2-days to Ponferrada, then follow the Camino Invierno to Santiago de Compostela. All being well, we will arrive at the tomb of St James The Apostle on 12 May 2017.
     
  66. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Oh, how can I be sorry that your Levante is ending when you will soon be on the Invierno? :D:D:D:D:D Fingers crossed that you will continue these great posts. I am really curious to see if the Invierno is showing signs of increased popularity!

    Wonderful report, James, you can now hand the torch to Grace to see if she can navigate by the white hut without getting lost in the cottonwood forest like I did.

    Buen camino, and thanks so very much for taking us along, Laurie
     
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  67. Göran Larsson

    Göran Larsson New Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
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    Zamora was my starting point some 25 days ago for the same journey as yours to come. Camino Invierno is great, and I hope you have the new guide. Congratulations on your achievement until now and good luck on your upcoming trip!
     
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  68. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Hi, Goran, Veering off topic a bit, but just to say that I would be oh so happy to get any comments from you that would help with next year's edition of the Invierno guide. Especially now, when your memory is fresh. You can either PM me or send to the email address in the guide, thanks much!
     
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  69. JLWV

    JLWV Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
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    Levante 2017 initiated
    When in Villalazan I didn't want to follow on the road, so I looked my map for an alternative.
    I saw that about 1 km on the left, parallel to the road, is the GR14 which go also to Villalrabo, but by country trails.
    So I turned left to Madridanos and from there went to Villalrabo. It was a little bit more long, but much more safe and quiet tan by the road.

    I do not remenber any orientation problem on that day. Probably the maps with tracks I had printed helped me a lot.

    buen camino to Astorga and following...
     

    Attached Files:

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  70. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Madrid ('14),
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    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Agree completely. On that day I only walked from Sieteiglesias to Castronuno, short 8km I think. I stopped so many times and when I saw that panoramic view over Duero I decided to stay for the night :)
     
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  71. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
    Finisterre ('11, '16),
    Madrid ('14),
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    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    I know where might be a tricky spot. If I remember correctly there's some kind of archeological site and soon after that a factory, both on the right side of a tarmac road. Camino turns sharp right after the factory (or something similar) on a gravel road and it doesn't seems logical because for a few hundred meters you are walking almost in opposite direction. So that might be the spot where you and BP continued along the tarmac road?

    EDIT: reading your complete post I see that I was right.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017 at 5:12 PM
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  72. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
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    Madrid ('14),
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    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    You are walking exactly the same route as Matt (@pilgr ). He allowed himself a rest day today in Quiroga on Invierno, partly because of the rain.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017 at 6:33 PM
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  73. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Let's make sure @gracethepilgrim sees this. She's starting out soon. I remember both of those places well, K1 -- the archeological site and then the factory. TURN RIGHT at the factory, and the cottonwood adventure begins!
     
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  74. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
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    Madrid ('14),
    Invierno ('14),
    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    I'm sure I've walked on "official" Levante on that stretch because there were arrows although very faded and scarce. Anyway, here's GPS track of Villalazan-Zamora stage where you can clearly see sharp right turn from carretera after the factory on KM 4 and the mentioned tricky spot at the white hut between KM 6 an KM 7:
    https://www.endomondo.com/users/16690154/workouts/560090878
     
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  75. Göran Larsson

    Göran Larsson New Member

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    Well, I'l give it a try, be patient I send you a mail when finished, OK?
     
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  76. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    I don't think we got lost at the same point. I ended up in a town called Moraleja... something, which Sheffield James does not mention. It is so embarrassing but I SWEAR there was a split where I could see no arrows or signs whatsoever...

    /BP
     
  77. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    I am grateful for whatever you can send me, whenever you can do it. A little bit from every forum member who walks the Invierno would add up to a LOT of revisions for next year's guide. ;)
     
  78. pilgr

    pilgr Doing the Tortuga 'poco-a-poco'

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    Norte(2013)
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    I plan to walk Levante and Geneva/LePuy in 2017
    Since you are making excellent time, you will probably be eligible for the 23€ private room and breakfast for pilgrims at the Parador in Santiago. You have to book ahead and space is limited.
    981 560 282
     
  79. pilgr

    pilgr Doing the Tortuga 'poco-a-poco'

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    I plan to walk Levante and Geneva/LePuy in 2017
    I found an excellent hostal in Quirona on the main street with pilgrim prices 17€! I also stayed at the albergue down the street for 10€. Net, net...I would pay the extra 7€
     
  80. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
    Quiroga, isn't that the albergue where the dreaded schoolkids thrive? Never staying there again. Will probably walk the Invierno this summer so I take note of any information about alternative places to stay...
     
  81. pilgr

    pilgr Doing the Tortuga 'poco-a-poco'

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    I plan to walk Levante and Geneva/LePuy in 2017
    That is funny you mentioned the school kids. The hospitelero told me yesterday that those dreaded kids would be there today! Thanks for the color commentary on why they are dreaded
     
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  82. pilgr

    pilgr Doing the Tortuga 'poco-a-poco'

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    I plan to walk Levante and Geneva/LePuy in 2017
    please disregard my post on the Parador. It is the Hospederia San Martin which is still a great deal
     
  83. andy.d

    andy.d Veteran Member

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    Does the albergue in Algemesi still contain a school in part of it? I almost had an embarrassing situation when I set off for the shower wrapped in a towel
     
  84. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    No school there in 2015. There are two doors maybe a meter between them. The left ones are the entrance to a gym used by senior citizens and the doors on the right are for the albergue.
     
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  85. pilgr

    pilgr Doing the Tortuga 'poco-a-poco'

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    Location:
    Left Coast, USA
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Norte(2013)
    Frances (2013)
    La Plata (2014)
    San Salvador (2014)
    Primitivo (2014)

    I plan to walk Levante and Geneva/LePuy in 2017
    @Sheffield James

    If you are doing the Invierno, try to stop at Penelopes which is 10km beyond Montforte de Lemos. It is right on the camino but in the country. She rents out a bed for 15€ but essentially it is a full apartment with full kitchen. All you need to do is stop by a supermarket in Monforte for whatever you want to cook. The quality of the apartment (excellent) is such that I would guess she intends to eventually live there. There are two bedrooms with two beds each.
     
    KinkyOne likes this.

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