Camino Viejo (par Pamplona) (Caminka 2011)  

 

  I thought to post my stages of viejo, to help people organize their camino a little better. my guide purposefully avoids this, to give as much freedom of planning as possible, but I know that sometimes some people prefer a bit less choice (like the popular stages on frances). and, let's face it, I need a good dose of camino memories!

 

  - pamplona - villanueva de arakil, 31km via irurtzun

  a fairly long day on sometimes difficult former gr21 (waymarks removed). requires some orientation skills. casa rural irigoen with superb treatment, atmosphere, and food. HP for 27E. two houses with blasones with scallops in the village.

  - villanueva de arakil - monasterio zamartze, 8km

  an unplanned stay, excavations in monasterio (roman waystation and medieval graves, some with scallops), and a car visit to santuario de aralar. but monasterio zamartze doesn't usually accommodate people - perhaps that might change in the future? otherwise, I would recommend going as far as alsasua (29km).

  - monasterio zamartze - puerto de lizarraga, 23km

  a majestic day almost literally straight up from huarte arakil to beriain (1000m climb in less then 6km) with a superb view all around, fog permitting, then a solitary and somewhat longish descent to puerto lizarraga. the only water in huarte arakil! hostal in puerto lizarraga 50E per room.

  - puerto de lizarraga - alsasua, 20km

  a walk on panoramic ridge then a descent through beautiful forest to alsasua. in albergue juvenil ring the right bell. 17E.

  - alsasua - salvatierra, 24km

  into the plain of vitoria-gasteiz, past a stunning dolmen. pension hose mari with special pilgrim price, 15E. now there should also be pilgrim albergue. superb tourist info office.

  - salvatierra - vitoria-gasteiz, 28km

  fairly long day if you want to see at least a few must-sees in vitoria (catedral, casco antiguo, museo naipes, many churches). pension la paz, special price 25E. but there is now albergue in the centre.

  - vitoria-gasteiz - puebla de arganzon, 22km

up and down portillo san miguel. albergue with microwave.

  - puebla de arganzon - miranda de ebro, 19km

  taking care after estavillo to go right (for burgos, not santo domingo de la calzada), then after arminon there are two options, left newer and passing a dolmen, right older and the last kms before miranda not waymarked anymore. both more or less the same in length. albegue juvenil with microwave. BB 11.50E.

  - miranda de ebro - banos de sobron, 24km

  joining gr 99 ruta del ebro. the first canyon. hostal durtzi, 25E.

  - banos de sobron - quintana martin galindez, 21km

  I opted for the road, gr 99 goes up and down the mountains. hostal valle tobalina, 30E. there is now albergue, too, a bit out of town.

  - quintana martin galindez - trespaderne, 23km

  superb bridge, town, castle, panorama of frias, recommended for a rest day. in trespaderne there is only hostal jose luiz, 28E.

  - trespaderne - quintana de valdevieso, 24.5km

  two magical gorges, a fantastic romanesque church, and friendly people. be persistent for a dorm bed in albergue arte y natura, at first they tried to sell me the most expensive double. 18E.

  - quintana de valdevieso - pesquera de ebro, 23.5km

  a superb example of roman/medieval/old raised road, a curious dolmen with a round chambre and a fine view of canon del ebro. casa rural arco, 42E.

  - pesquera de ebro - orbaneja del castillo, 25km

  majestic canon del ebro, very picturesque orbaneja, superb panoramas. casa rural abuelo very friendly and with kitchen, but buy supplies in pesquera. 25E.

  - orbaneja del castillo - polientes, 18.5km

  leaving canon del ebro, another fine romanesque church. friendly pension sanpatiel came with free laundry done by the lady of the house, 30E.

  - polientes - villanueva de la nia, 16km

  there are expensive options further on if this is too short. another fine church. good food in posada cazador, the only in the village, 24E.

  - villanueva de la nia - aguilar de campoo, 27.5km

  leaving ebro and gr 99, not waymarked. after the climb out of the valley vast plains. hotel villa de aguilar in centre, 35E. hostal cortez may be cheaper if they answer the phone.

 

  - aguilar de campoo - cervera de pisuerga, 27.5km

  joining camino olivdado and yellow arrows. but lost them after quintanilla de corvio, should keep more to the left. in cervera very friendly tourist office. albergue is further 1.5km north and was full. hostal pineda, 20E (ask for low price).

  - cervera de pisuerga - castrejon de la pena, 21km

  including a detour to valle de tosante and an almost roundabout route via traspena de la pena because I wanted to see the cruceiro and the church (which was open!). got a special offer in casa rural uncar, 25E.

  - castrejon de la pena - guardo, 23.5km

  more or less joining the main road. albergue is 1.2km further on the route west of centre, call ahead. in centre pension garmar not too recommended. lodged by a super friendly couple.

  - guardo - punete almuhey, 15km

  after the main road an ok waymarked stretch through woods. friendly casa rural muria, 25E.

  - puente almuhey - cistierna, 25km

  camino goes north to santuario velilla, but I opted for the main road because I had a sick afternoon and night. for albergue key go to ayuntamiento or call a phone number posted on the door.

  - cistierna - bonar, 23.5km

  a short 'detour' south with ruta vadiniense, but the split clearly waymarked. then the route follows a minor road which I eluded by a mountain bike route. in bonar also albergue. hostal ines, 20E.

  - bonar - la robla, 31km

  a long day with lots of main road walking. the second part which is off the road might be blocked because of the new railway construction. for albergue call in advance, or stop by the tourist office (open till 14h), it's 500m north of the route. has kitchen.

  - la robla - pandorado, 32km

  another long day with lots of main road walking. construction of the new industrial buildings at magdalena obliges you to stay on the main road. after leaving the road after riello you need sharp eyes to spot the very few arrows on the first 500m of the climb. call ahead to casa rural resthy to arrange for a two-night stay and transportation back and to fasgar. it has a kitchen. 60E.

  - pandorado - fasgar (pandorado), 26km

  some tracks, still lots of side road. practically no supplies, only two bars on the route, but a few fountains. again casa rural resthy in pandorado, 60E + 30E for the transport.

  - fasgar - iguena, 20km

  a beautiful day up to campo de santiago de martin moro then down, here a bit stony and precarious, to iguena. enough springs. hostal here closed! call ahead for casa rural begona, with kitchen. 30E.

  - iguena - bembibre, 27.5km

  after quintana de fuseros and its fountain a long and lonely stretch to labaniego where all fountains were dry but there were poeple to ask for water. after it watch out for an arrow where you have to descend right to go to losada. I went left and ended in bembibre. hostal carmen, 25E.

  - bembibre - ponferrada, 18km

  I followed the main road because I didn't know there is a much more beautiful path from san miguel de duenas on. albergue in ponferrada has fountain, showers and wcs in the courtyard open all day.

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                                                                       08/12/2014

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