Apr 01 2017

Stage 22: A bit of a slog. Reflecting my state of mind.

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 22: A bit of a slog. Reflecting my state of mind.

A thousand idiots clamouring for attention. So.. Arévalo to Medina del Campo 34km, with coffee stop at 8km and menu del dia in a service station 21km (white table cloth.. waitress service.. had to turn down the bottle of wine.. three courses..). Summer’s back – flat plain and hot. Walking on dirt paths at a distance from the the main road. Stayed with Carmelite monks – who gave us proper beds with sheets, pillow cases, blankets and towels. Believe me.. that means a lot!

Read more

Mar 31 2017

Stage 21: Gotarrendura to Arévalo with 4 unpronounceable place names inbetween. 28.4km

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 21: Gotarrendura to Arévalo with 4 unpronounceable place names inbetween. 28.4km

Birthday for Simon! Up earlier than our albergue buddy, planned to meet up for breakfast in next cafe village .. we were blown out. Never mind. Hasta luego, Eduardo! That’s camino friendships. A fine day and slightly down hill, walked through the next two villages. Heard the first hoopoe properly hoo-pooing. Stopped in Tiñosillos for a plaza bench break out of our ruck sacks, then on through pine woods to Arévalo. The pine trees are being bled for their resin – acres of pine trees, each with drip trays and plastic cups. Swanky jazz bar in the centre of town for a birthday celebration .. both looking like hobos. The posh hotel was full – no matter. The 2 star will do fine. Leicester vs Sevilla later in the Champions’ League – going to explore, then find a football bar and annoy the locals.

Read more

Mar 30 2017

Stage 20: Ávila to Gotarrendura – the birthplace of Santa Teresa of Ávila (via Narrillos de San Leonardo for Magdalenas and Cardeñosa to thaw out in café, brandy and hot chocolate) 23.8km

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 20: Ávila to Gotarrendura  – the birthplace of Santa Teresa of Ávila (via Narrillos de San Leonardo for Magdalenas and Cardeñosa to thaw out in café, brandy and hot chocolate) 23.8km

Broke land speed record! Cold, cold and pretty heavy snowfall makes for a fast pace. Luckily this stretch has 3 small villages with café opportunities and radiators to dry gloves etc. Got to destination mid afternoon, and met with our new cycling peregrino mates Eduardo and Lidia – beer and tapas all afternoon, wine, calamares and tortilla in the very, very smart albergue to the small hours. A prelude to Simon’s birthday.

Read more

Mar 29 2017

Stage 19: San Bartolomé de Pinares to Ávila 24.7km.

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 19: San Bartolomé de Pinares to Ávila 24.7km.

A solid 450m hike up to a mountain pass this morning. Luckily, the heat has been turned down. Vultures up early. Beautiful landscape. Watched farmers tagging calves in the field – one to tag as quickly as poss, the other to beat the mother away with sticks (looked fairly dangerous to me). Made it to Tornadizos de Ávila as the clouds burst – in time for tapas. Almost ran to Ávila in the rain, hail and bitter wind .. we’d just entered the city when an old man commented ‘estupendo’ when we told him we’d walked from Alicante. Half way. Nearly. A good ‘donativo’ albergue, to the west of the city and outside the old wall. We shared with 3 cyclists. Ate in a surprising bar in the evening, close to the albergue, surrounded by images of Franco (and Hitler) .. plus military memorabilia, and ‘to-the-point’ notices about if you don’t like it, then leave. Quietly ate and watched the football. Decided perhaps it’d be better to breakfast some place else in the morning! Snow forecast.

Read more

Mar 28 2017

Stage 18: Cebreros to San Bartolomé de Pinares 16km.

by admin in Camino Sureste

The Camino Levante guidebook says to go from Cebreros direct to Ávila (37.2km), without stopping to take in the breathtaking scenery and to picnic, sitting on the rocks, paddling toes in the Aroyo de la Pizarra (‘look.. are they leeches in that pool?’). Reminiscent of a magical day spent at Dartmeet when the kids were little. Anyway.. ignore the Levante – we went instead with the Sureste and took our time. Besides, the initial 300m climb up, out of Cebreros, in just over 2km was reason enough to stop and rest. Saw vultures, walked over high moorland closely grazed by herds of cows with bells on, horses, listened to frog choruses in the pools, and later walked between huge granite boulders. The cobbled town of San Bartolomé is charming and the albergue is OPEN – proper bunks in a room on the top floor of the medical centre. All free as usual. Amused by a raucous Saturday night in the bar – telly football blaring, shouting, singing, impromptu flamenco, children playing chase. Is this usual? 😳 (uh oh, ‘Viva España’ now – the repertoire is getting desperate) Simon was official photographer today, but his photos were rubbish. He says ‘settings’ blah blah. Have sorted his settings. But a definite lack of images.

Read more

Mar 27 2017

Stage 17: Caldalso de los Vidrios to Cebreros 20.7km plus some

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 17: Caldalso de los Vidrios to Cebreros 20.7km plus some

This morning took the scenic route along a mountain track, avoiding the main road from Cadalso de los Vidrios to Cebreros, as recommended by the manager of Hostal San Jose. Best advice: energising scenery rather than a demoralising trudge along tarmac with oncoming traffic. Further than the guide book, but well marked and worth the extra distance. Albergue shut in Cebreros – its starting to seem that many of them are. Perhaps it’s a seasonal thing .. although it’s almost too hot to walk the Camino now and would certainly be near impossible in the summer. Anyway .. closed albergue and no free ‘refuge’ in a cupboard, means another night in a HOTEL. This one’s fairly up market. The book says 20.7km – I think it’s more like 25km with the views an all.

Read more

Mar 26 2017

Stage 16: Novés to Caldalso de los Vidrios – 38.4km in book. In reality, about 45km

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 16: Novés to Caldalso de los Vidrios – 38.4km in book. In reality, about 45km

Yesterday. Breakfasted with Father Filipe and his wife, unusually in his home in Novés (never before been invited into someone’s family kitchen), and walked with the lycra’ed Padre to Quismondo – inspecting his yellow arrows en route. On reaching the town he sped us past all the cafes, the shop, and sent us on our way, enthusiastically waving us off with a jolly ‘Buen Camino’ along the next 10km stretch to Escalona – a beautiful walled city and a gateway to the mountains. First sighting of storks on the church roof. Hot, hot, hot. Lunched till 3pm in a cloistered square thankful for the shade – then off on the next stage through surprising Dartmoor scenery with granite stone walls and rock rose, climbing to the pretty and welcoming village of Paredes. Lucky, as our water supply had run dry. Met a group of old boys playing cards in the bar – keen for us to drink and use the ‘servicios’! Then the guide book messed up. What was supposed to be 13km didn’t match with the arrows on the road and we ended up in Cenicientos, a mountain town approached through caravans and wooden huts hidden amongst the trees and the sound of sheep bells, through a sector completely made up of mad dogs trapped in ramshackle yards, then a plaza for apparently for out of control kids, and finally the grown up, more recognisable, part of town with shops and stuff. Apartheid in action. Would have usually tried to stay .. it was getting dark .. but the place was too odd. Bought the sweetest macaroon thing in the world and fled. Finally glimpsed Caldalso de los Vidrios on the horizon, way across the valley, and rejoined the Camino through the wild wood. About 45km+ today, up a mountain in the heat. Booked into a hostal and couldn’t write a thing. NB. Today found out there exists a ‘Peregrino Alert’ app, that warns locals of our approach. Ha!

Read more

Mar 25 2017

Stage 15: Toledo to Novés 39.7km (less 7km)

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 15: Toledo to Novés 39.7km (less 7km)

Toledo: spent last night in mighty modest Hostal Santa Barbara, with paper thin walls and an endurance goggle-boxer in the room next door. City tourists by day till 13.00; 13.05 pilgrims on the road to Villamiel – where the ‘casa rural’ was shut; a 7km dash to the next village of Nuesca to find a bed – nada; then phoned round a few places – no answer. Simon had already begun muttering about kipping in a ditch .. not a great idea when wild boar are out to getcha. Still 7km to Novés, and a shelter. Relieved then when a man in a bar offered to drive us – said we couldn’t possibly walk in the dark. Figured that if someone OFFERS a lift, then it isn’t cheating – more akin to provision from above. So, we were gratefully delivered to vicar Filipe who’s given us beds, kitchen, BATH, towels, blankets (all within the albergue that doubles as a food bank – so we’re sleeping amongst tin peaches, lentils and rice). Oh, and a crucifix above our beds. Sweet dreams!

Read more

Mar 24 2017

Stage 14: Villanueva de Bogas to Toledo.. should have been around 44.3km though…

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 14: Villanueva de Bogas to Toledo.. should have been around 44.3km though…

…we walked about 35km and cheated (don’t judge me) Early start from Villanueva de Bogas to the castle & slag heaps of Almonacid de Toledo, to Nambroca (off piste – somehow slipped onto the Camino de Lavante), lost and harassed by hundreds of barking dogs in Las Nieves (really off piste and piste off – this was Simon’s idea of a sneaky short cut) .. then attempted a motorway walk for the final few kms to Toledo (we were advised that the bikes go this way … but for us it promised a walk of certain death). Ended up wandering aimless in the central reservation – then back to the BUS STOP; our only option so late in the day. We covered over 20 miles I’d say, plus lots of walking round the central reservation like a teddy bear. Got to Toledo as the sun was fading. NB. don’t try to be clever and outsmart the yellow arrows. It’ll end in tears!

Read more

Mar 23 2017

Stage 13: Villacañas to Tembléque (menu del dia served by a horribly grumpy waitress) to Villanueva de Bogas (and lovely José Luis, the ‘bedroom’ key bearer). 31.8km

by admin in Camino Sureste

Stage 13: Villacañas to Tembléque (menu del dia served by a horribly grumpy waitress) to Villanueva de Bogas (and lovely José Luis, the ‘bedroom’ key bearer). 31.8km

Sun and wind. A relief to have the plains behind us, out of endless vines and into more interesting countryside. Tembléque windmills greet the peregrino in the approach to the town. The beautiful Plaza Major, built in 17th century, designed as a bull ring with three entrances and viewing balconies – not an uncommon feature. Bedroom tonight is a ‘refugio’ in a small classroom. We hauled our mattresses onto the tables. Retro heating once again – but we were offered blankets this time. Besides, the warmth of the welcome was heating enough! Spent the evening in the bar across from the refuge, giving an impromptu English lesson to Ainhara (7) and Juan (4), for which we were paid in beer and liver. Perfect. So many rabbits in the countryside in these parts. A proper plague.

Read more

Page 1 of 1012345...10...Last »

220 volt . right here