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Navarrete To Fromista March 2017

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Greg Canning, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi All

    I'm back looking for your views/opinions on the next stage of my Camino. We are planning 9 days in late March early April 2017. We finished our last stage in Navarrete so will be starting from there and hope to walk to Fromista (a total of 180 Kms according to Godesalco - thanks again Danvo).

    So far I'm planning as follows:-

    Navarrete - Nájera 16.7
    Nájera - Santo Domingo de la Calzada 21.6
    Santo Domingo de la Calzada - Belorado 24.1
    Belorado - San Juan de Ortega 24.5
    San Juan de Ortega - Cardeñuela-Ríopico 12.6
    Cardeñuela-Ríopico - Burgos 13.9
    Burgos - Hornillos del Camino 20.9
    Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz 20.6
    Castrojeriz - Frómista 25.6

    This would allow us two short days after the climb to San Juan de Ortega (thinking of my poor knees here :)) and a bit of time in Burgos. Any views on the itinerary or the climbs (e.g. how do they compare with Pyrenees/Alto de Perdon?).

    We will need to get back to Bilbao from Fromista on the 10th day for a 5pm flight (so about 3.30pm). Any advice in relation to this part would be gratefully received.

    Once again thanks you all for your help and advice to date.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Greg - Sounds like a great 9 days. It's a really great section of the Camino. Here are a couple thoughts I have based on your plan and what I did.

    First, the climb up Alto Mojapán is not bad. It's steep, but relatively short at least in comparison with the Day in the Pyrenees. You won't have any trouble with it.

    My itinerary was a bit different from yours. I only stopped in San Juan de Ortega for refreshment and then went on a few kilometers further to Agés for the night. Agés is a bit larger than San Juan with a couple alberges and eateries. From there, my walk into Burgos was a bit shorter the next day. If you were to do this, you could take an extra day in Burgos. Plenty to see and do there.

    Although I walked through Hornillos, I went on another 10 km that day to Hontanas. It was one of my longer walking days on the Camino, but Hontanas and the Alberge Santa Brígida were favorite places of mine. Keep in mind that the Meseta is pretty flat so walking longer distances is easier.

    If you're staying in albergues, let me mention a few of my favorites in this section: Nájera (Puerta de Nájara), Santo Domingo (Cofradía del Santo), Belorado (Cuatro Cantones), Agés (El Pajar), Burgos (Divina Pastora), Hontanas (Santa Brígida), and Boadilla (En El Camino). I'd stay at any of these a second time.

    Nonethelesss, your itinerary looks great! I'm sure you will really enjoy this section. On the day I traveled between Hornillos and Hontanas, we hiked in ankle deep mud. Hopefully, that won't be the case for you. Buen Camino!
     
  3. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wily

    Once again many thanks for the great advice. Can you tell me were the albergues private (if so I could book in advance)?

    Greg
     
  4. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wily

    Once again many thanks for the great advice. Can you tell me were the albergues private (if so I could book in advance)?

    Greg
     
  5. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Greg - With the exceptions of Santo Domingo and Burgos, all were private and I did make reservations at all of them. The Cofradía in Santo Domingo is large, modern and with excellent facitities very near the cathedral. There seemed to be plenty of spaces there. Again, getting there early rather than late is always advised. I was lucky enough to catch a special concert in the cathedral. The Divina Pastora is a tiny albergue runs by the sisters. A little hard to find, but right in the heart of Burgos near the cathedral. Since I had a short walk that day from Agés, I was the first one in line waiting for it to open. The cathedral is absolutely magnificant! Had I had an extra day in Burgos, I would have liked to visit the Museo de Evolucion Humana. I made a couple of my reservations through Booking.com while the others were done by simple email to the albergue.
     
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  6. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again Wily, great info as ever
     
  7. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Greg, my wife and I walked many of the same segments during our camino in Sept-Oct 2015. A few comments:
    • Nájera - avoid staying at the municipal albergue. 46 bunks in one room, shower/toilet facilties poorly maintained.
    • Santo Domingo de la Calzada - if you want to splurge, consider staying at the Parador there. It is the historic hostel / hospital from centuries ago that has been updated to a 5 star hotel. Wonderful room and sumptuous breakfast buffet the next morning
    • Belorado - we also stayed at Cuatro Cantones. One of the best albergues we stayed in the entire camino. The albergue is run by a fine and caring family. The rooms and facilities are well maintained and there is a restaurant upstairs that served us an excellent dinner at night and breakfast the next morning.
    • San Juan de Ortega - it would be a long day, but keep walking to spend the night in Ages. We stayed at the municipal albergue. It was smelly, poorly lit, facilities were poorly maintained and the hospitalero had a bad attitude.
    • Cardeñuela-Ríopico - we walked from San Juan de Ortega directly to Burgos, so did not stop mid-way. When approaching Burgos, next time we'll walk along the river into town rather the industrial route.
    • Burgos - we stayed at the municipal albergue. It is a purpose built albergue that is layed out well, very clean, and located very close to the cathedral.
    • Hornillos del Camino - we stayed at the municipal albergue. Very nice hospitalera, nice facilities (bathroom had been completed upgraded with new fixtures). Located centrally by a plaza across from a bar/restaurant and there is a grocery store nearby.
    • Castrojeriz - we stayed at the Ultrea albergue which was fairly new. The sleeping area was a bit crowded, but okay. There's a wonderful patio, and up the stairs there is an outside sitting area with a wading pool to soak your feet in frosty cold water. We did not attend the group dinner inside, but did for breakfast. Really nice place
    • Frómista - we stopped in Boadilla and stayed in the municipal albergue, which formerly a small school house. Now half the building is the albergue and half is a bar / restaurant. Next camino we'll walk to Fromista and stay there.
    My wife and I are walking the camino frances again this fall along with my brother and his wife. We'll be staying again at several of the places listed above.

    So with the exception of San Juan de Ortega, your stages look fine and you should find nice albergues to stay in along the way.

    Bob
     
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  8. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Greg - I couldn't agree more with Bob on his recommendation of having dinner at Cuatro Cantones if you were to stay there. By far, one of the best meals that I had on the Camino! But, do make a dinner reservation when you check in because they will sell out. The owner/chef serves an excellent meal! The other great pilgrim's dinner that I had in this section of the Camino was at the Albergue Santa Brígida were you to stay in Hontanas. Garlic soup to die for!
     
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  9. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Bob and Wily. Lots and lots of food for thought. I love the idea of the Parador in Santo Domingo and I'm already looking forward to the garlic soup.

    Based on your recommendations I think we will be aiming for Ages (Bob can I ask where the smelly albergue was, San Juan or Ages?)

    Planning and this Forum are certainly a big part of the Fun of preparing for the Camino.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  10. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Greg, the smelly municipal albergue was in San Juan de Ortega. There were a few things in the town we enjoyed. The cathedral / monestary that adjoins the albergue is under renovation and quite historic. We enjoyed touring inside. Also, next door to the albergue was a small bar/restaurant. Many pilgrims took a break and had a snack or beverages at the bar, then continued hiking to Ages. We enjoyed beverages there in the afternoon. We decided to not have the pilgrims meal at the albergue, which caused the hospitalero to be a bit angry. A few pilgrims that had dinner at the albergue came over to the bar afterwards saying their pilgrim dinner was terrible, so they decided to get more/better food at the bar/restaurant. We went back to the bar for dinner that night and it was wonderful. The waiters were very friendly. They told us that they had the best morcilla in all of Spain. We had it for dinner and agreed with them !

    If you decide to walk to Ages, I suggest you make a reservation at a private albergue in advance (there are several). A few pilgrims we walked with planned to stay in Ages, but when they arrived they learned that a private tour group had reserved almost every bed in town. So the pilgrims had to work further and stay in Atapuerca.
     
  11. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Bob

    Thanks again for getting back to me. Ages it is so. Booked flights this morning. We fly into Bilbao on Saturday 25 March. We will start from Navarette on Sunday the 26th. Can't wait to be on the Way again

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  12. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi All

    Can I ask another question? Is anyone aware of local bus transfers from Fromista to Burgos. We are flying out of Bilbao and have decided that it will be easier to get there from Burgos having stopped in Fromista.

    So far I've found only one bus that leaves at 7.30 am or a trip by train and bus via Palencia. It seems strange given it's only 70k by road to Burgos.

    Thanks and Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  13. Maya Grandmother

    Maya Grandmother Active Member

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    Dear Greg,in Belorado we also stayed at the Quatro Cantones. As mentioned the meal was excellent. The room in the basement was clean but cramped and the water cold in the shower but that is part of the wonderful experience. The meal was 10E and the bed 7E. In the town are the famous stork nests on top of the church steeple. At Hornillos Del Camino we spent the night at Albergue el Alfar. Very clean and the rooms are 4-6 beds but we lucked out with our own room because they were not busy. The owners made a homemade outdoor paella on the grill and he offered homemade liquor after the meal. The bed was 10E and the meal 9E. This was in April 2015. I wish you a good camino with lots of great memories. Maya
     
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  14. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Maya

    We have reserved beds at Quatro Cantones, and I have written to a few others and now waiting to hear back.

    Thank you once again

    Greg
     
  15. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi All

    Just trying to finalise our bookings at this stage and I'm trying to decide between Boadillo del Camino and Fromista. We will be travelling back by train from Fromista to Burgos and thence to Bilbao for our flight home.

    Staying in Boadillo would shorten the walk by around 4 km and we could then walk that last 4 k to fromista on the morning we return to Burgos. So any preferences for one town over the other? Some people have highly recommended En El Camino as a place to stay and I've seen some poor reviews of Fromista. As always any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  16. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Greg - I stayed in Boadillo. The night before, I lodged in Hontanas. If you decide on Boadillo, check out the Albergue En El Camino. It was most comfortable with a great garden area for relaxing. The pilgrim's meal was excellent as well. Would stay there again on my next trip through. Buen Camino!
     
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