After a good night’s sleep in Pamplona, the Happy Hobo will head west on the the Camino Francés. The Bicigrino book suggests fifty to ninety kilometers per day, but I suspect their audience is cycling fanatics much younger than me. A year’s data on my own trips suggests I could do it in seven to ten days. I’m also not sure that I’ll actually have a bike, so the plan starts out at an easy walking speed, and I’ll re-plan as I see how it goes. I already know there are places where a cyclist must get off and walk. And even when level, one must be considerate of the hundreds of pilgrims walking the route.
I’ll have just the fourteen days for this—I will probably have to take bus or train and skip the last two or three days. Lodging is scarce on that part of the route, anyway.
Many of the points listed below aren’t necessarily “things to see,” just points on the map. The Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago in Navarre assures me that my trek “will not be complete” unless I see a few things not-quite-on-the-Camino in Pamplona. But I don’t think I can afford the time!
NOTE: I am still working on this—suggestions are welcome!
|Day One||Puente la Reina||24.0||24.0|
|Day Two||Villamayor de Monjardín||28.8||52.8|
|Day Nine||Boadillo del Camino||39.0||272.2|
|Day Eleven||Villalba de los Alcores||34.0||344.7|
Getting to Pamplona
Got a plane ticket to Barcelona, arriving the morning of 5 April 2016. I hope I can take a bicycle on the train (if I can even find an affordable one). The train (mid-afternoon) takes almost four hours to Pamplona. Total of about 8800 kilometers by plane (FSM-DFW-PHL-BCN); 525 by train. Update: Went to Logroño instead!
Day One—Pamplona to Puente la Reina (CANCELED)
I’ll leave the list here for reference, but I did not go to any of these places.
- GPX — KML — Maplorer.
- I’ll most likely sleep at Casa Ibarrola or Jardín de Muruzábal. If I didn’t find a bike in Barcelona, I’ll have to look here in Pamplona.
- Puente de Azella
- Puente de Azella is pretty much my exit from Pamplona.
- Cizur Menor
- Camino passes by the restored remains of a Thirteenth Century site of the Order of Malta.
- Alto de Morea
- This is about halfway for day one. Hope there’s a place here for lunch!
- Alto del Perdón
- I hear it’s a tough climb to the Alto del Perdón and a steep descent from it. I could go under it on the highway, but then I’d miss the view at the top. Camino Francés en Bicicleta says to take the highway if it’s raining. Also says the descent is rocky—might have to walk the bike to save the brakes and avoid spills.
- Twenty kilometers from the albergue named after it. Hmmm.
- ermita de Santa Lucia
- ermita de Santa María de Eunate
- The books tell me I need to detour a short distance to the Camino Aragonés to see this. The Camino Aragonés comes from the east, past this hermitage, and joins the Camino Francés near Obanos.
- Puente la Reina
- At least three albergues to choose from.
Day Two—Puente la Reina to Villamayor de Monjardín
CHANGED: From Logroño to Villamayor de Monjardín! I’ll leave the list here for reference, but I did not go to any of these places.
- Puente de Dorrondoa
- Ermita de Urbe
- Puente del Camino Real
- More than halfway for day two. I’ll look for lunch here; if not found, look again in the big city of Estella-Izkarra.
- Ermita de San Miguel
- Izkarra is the Basque name; Estella the Spanish. (Not Estrella.) In 2015, I went from Villamayor de Monjardín to Estella (nine kilometers) and back on foot in a day. (And another day, I did it on bicycle.)
- The Benedictine monastery here was the first “hospital” for pilgrims. “Hospital” meaning place of hospitality, not medical care (though I’m sure that was available if needed). The monks’ wine-making has expanded into a business, which also provides the famous “Fuente de Vino” where pilgrims are on their honor to have just a little. Of course, there are those who can’t be deterred from abuse even by the web-cam. At the albergue in 2015, we had a German guest who was irate at some folks who drove up in a car and filled eight jugs. When I was there, a lady came up and asked me whether (as she had heard) the fountain wasn’t working. I pointed out that the sign next to me said they only put one hundred liters per day in the fountain. She turned around and said the same to a group of tourists, who then took some pictures, piled back into a van, and drove away. I had to laugh at the irony of the slogan on the van: “The best way to see the world is on foot.”
- Cruz de Ipicando
- Fuente Gótica (Fuente de los Moros)
- If I were desperate, I could walk down the steps into this building for a drink. But definitely not without filtering it first!
- If Hogar Monjardín is full, I’ll have to back-track two kilometers to La Perla Negra in Azqueta. Or spend a bit more at the other albergue in Villamayor.
- Villamayor de Monjardín
- Pleasant village with less than a hundred regular inhabitants and up to fifty pilgrims each night during the summer. Overlooked by the remains of an old castle.
Day Three—Villamayor de Monjardín to Viana
I did this in 2015 in one day without discomfort. My GPS said it was 32 kilometers, not 29.9, but I’m sure detoured for lunch in Los Arcos and for a second look at some things in Sansol.
- Los Arcos
- This pleasant village has some nice restaurants and shops. Also the closest place to Villamayor de Monjardín for ATMs and a post office. In 2015, I took a bus here from Logroño, then walked the twelve kilometers to Arróniz, spent the night, then walked six kilometers to Villamayor de Monjardín.
- El Vado
- Since Los Arcos is eighteen kilometers from Viana, and this part the Camino is more difficult, I’ll probably need a snack here.
- Iglesia del Santo Sepulcro
- An octagonal church.
- Torres del Río
- Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Poyo
- A visit to the “Chill Café” tea-house, and then a night in one of the many albergues here.
Day Four—Viana to Ventosa
- Ermita de Cuevas
- Boundary point
- Regions of Navarre, Álava, and La Rioja meet here.
- Big city. I spent two nights here in 2015 before volunteering at Hogar Monjardín. Not quite half-way, but it’s a long way to the next village, so probably buy something here to eat later.
- Pantano la Grajera
Day Five—Ventosa to Ciriñuela
Day Six—Ciriñuela to Belorado
- Santo Domingo de la Calzada
- Redecilla del Camino
- Viloria Rioja
- Villamayor del Río
Day Seven—Belorado to Agés
- Espinosa del Camino
- Villafranca Montes de Oca
- Montes de Oca
- San Juan de Ortega
Day Eight—Agés to Hornillos del Camino
- Olmos Atapuerca
- Olmos but not quite.
- Cardeñuela Riopico
- Villa Fría
- Lunch in the big city?
- Rabe de las Calzadas
- Hornillos del Camino
Day Nine—Hornillos del Camino to Boadillo del Camino
- Arroyo San Bol
- Castellanos de Castro
- San Antón
- Alto Mostelares
- Itero del Castillo
- Puente Itero
- Itero de la Vega
- Boadilla del Camino
Day Ten—Boadillo del Camino to Palencia
- Canal de Castilla
- Here is where I leave the Camino to head toward Zamora. Doesn’t look like there’s much in between. If I’m not already on a bus, I’d better make sure here that I have food and water.
- No longer on the Camino, and so no albergues. But I have identified a couple of possible places to stay.
Day Eleven—Palencia to Villalba de los Alcores
After Palencia, lodging is hard to find. May have to use the tent. Or add a lot of extra kilometers and go through Valladolid. Or fold up the bike and take a bus to Zamora. But this plan isn’t complete yet.
- Villalba de los Alcores
Day Twelve—Villalba de los Alcores to Urueña
Day Thirteen—Urueña to Villalube
Day Fourteen—Villalube to Zamora
- Home of Bill and Diane Jackson. Bill went to Elmira High School with me, but I didn’t meet him until about three years ago (via Facebook). Spend a short time learning about their activities and the area they live in.<>
Day ??—Zamora to Villamayor de Monjardín
Bus or Train back to Villamayor de Monjardín to help in the albergue.
Sources for the distances and information on places
- In May and June of 2015, I flew to Madrid, took buses to Logroño, then Los Arcos.$nbsp; Walked to Arróniz, then to Villamayor de Monjardín, where I helped in the albergue Hogar Monjardín for a few weeks. On days off, I walked or biked to Los Arcos, Estella, and Viana.
- Camino Francés en Bicicleta, 3ª edición. bicigrino.com
- Camino de Santiago en Navarra, 1ª edición (2004?). Gobierno de Navarra
- Navarra en Bicicleta, 2012. Gobierno de Navarra
- The Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago in Navarre, 2012. Gobierno de Navarra
- Google Maps