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Which would you choose? Olvidado Complete or Lebaniego/Vadiniense/Olvidado

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WestKirsty

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CNorte/Prim 2016
CSal 2017
CF 2021/22
CVasco 2022
Hi! I don't have an idea of when I'll be able to do one of these options but want to be ready when the opportunity arises. I have lots of routes on my 'to do' list, including both the Olvidado and the Lebaniego/Vadiniense. So now I'm thinking of just doing them in one go!

This would mean missing out on the Bilbao - Cistierra stretch on the Olvidado though, and I'm not sure if that is a good trade off. From what I've read and seen pictures of, the stretch from Bilbao to Aguilar de Campoo is ok (scenery wise) but the route gets more mountainous (my favourite) from that point. So I suppose the question is which is the better option: Aguilar de Campoo to Cistierra or San Vicente to Cistierra? If you had to choose one, which would you do?

I have spent time in the Picos before (Potes and Fuente De) so that might factor into the final decision, but I am very curious about a comparison of these sections! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

K
 
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Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Ignaciano, Aragones, Arle, Tolosana, Salvador, Primitivo, Madrid, Olvidado/Invierno (2020)
Hi! I don't have an idea of when I'll be able to do one of these options but want to be ready when the opportunity arises. I have lots of routes on my 'to do' list, including both the Olvidado and the Lebaniego/Vadiniense. So now I'm thinking of just doing them in one go!

This would mean missing out on the Bilbao - Cistierra stretch on the Olvidado though, and I'm not sure if that is a good trade off. From what I've read and seen pictures of, the stretch from Bilbao to Aguilar de Campoo is ok (scenery wise) but the route gets more mountainous (my favourite) from that point. So I suppose the question is which is the better option: Aguilar de Campoo to Cistierra or San Vicente to Cistierra? If you had to choose one, which would you do?

I have spent time in the Picos before (Potes and Fuente De) so that might factor into the final decision, but I am very curious about a comparison of these sections! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

K
Delighted you asked the questions since I'm interested as well. Hope we get some comments.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well, I can’t give a recommendation, but I can give you my memories of the two different options.

San Vicente to Cistierna. San Vicente to Potes is pleasant, a hill or two, no mountains yet. Potes to Fuente De is spectacular. And the day from Puente Dé through the Senda da Remoña is really beautiful. It’s very easy to navigate, because there were once plans to pave a road through there. Fortunately those plans were ditched, but I think a vehicle can easily get through on it. Once you get through the pass, it is a lot of asphalt down to Portilla de la Reina. From Portilla to Riano to Ventasierra to Cistierna (it’s got an “n”, not a “rr”, not that that’s a big deal but it might impede searching) is pretty flat, around a reservoir (reservoirs usually depress me, as do the towns that were flooded and then recreated up higher). The sections along the Esla River are pleasant but no mountains. That’s about 7 or 8 days total, I think.

Aguilar to Cistierna is shorter. 4 long days. Aguilar to Cervera is also pleasant, along a river, no mountains, and also rings a reservoir (less depressing to me for some reason). Cervera to Guardo is long and there is a small ascent at the beginning, but most of it is weaving through agricultural fields with the Monte Palentina in the background. I loved that day. From Guardo to Puente Almuhey, there is a mountain option, which is great- Up to Caminayo (you can sleep in the social center if you want to break the stage up), but the last kms into Guardo are along the road. Then from Puente Almuhey to Cistierna is a much nicer entrance into Cistierna than on the Vadiniense, because you go up to the La Velilla sanctuary (with Santiago statue) and from there it’s a very nice high elevation walk (I don’t know what the cutoff between hills and mountains is) and then down into Cistierna.

A couple of caveats — they have re-routed the first few days of the Lebaniego/Vadiniense, making it longer I think but less asphalt. A forum member was recently there and posted live, so you’ve probably seen @seanmcauley’s threads. My impressionistic comparison would be that the most spectacular mountains are the Picos de Europa on the Vadiniense, but the Olvidado has overall more beauty packed into its three days from Aguilar to Cistierna than the Vadiniense has packed into its 8 days, because from the pass to Portilla to Riano to Ventasierra to Cistierna has a lot along the road (with some lovely exceptions) and very little elevation.

Hoping this will give you some starting point basis for comparison, happy to continue the conversation! Buen camino, Laurie
 

WestKirsty

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CNorte/Prim 2016
CSal 2017
CF 2021/22
CVasco 2022
Thanks so much for your reply @peregrina2000 ! It's very helpful!

I'd read about the road parts of the Vadiniense and was wondering more about the full route, i.e. does the time in the Picos make up for it. As I have done some non-Camino walking in the Picos, it sounds like I've already seen the best parts of the Lebeniego/Vadiniense. So more points being added to reasons to do the full Olvidado and leaving the Lebeniego/Vadiniense for another time!
 
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Ok. Throwing a spanner in the works with another idea. Why not walk the Viejo instead, from Pamplona (or Puebla de Sanabria, where it splits from the Vasco) to Aguilar de Campoo?
 
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WestKirsty

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CNorte/Prim 2016
CSal 2017
CF 2021/22
CVasco 2022
Ok. Throwing a spanner in the works with another idea. Why not walk the Viejo instead, from Pamplona (or Puebla de Sanabria, where it splits from the Vasco) to Aguilar de Campoo?

And the plot thickens!! Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into that!
 

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