Gear for women travelling solo

What gear to have on the camino is always a major topic of conversation (or dispute). This is an interesting and useful article from New York Times – owned website, The Wirecutter, describing their top gear picks for females travelling solo. Let the discussion begin!

https://beta.thewirecutter.com/activity/list/f9f17bfd-c476-462b-bc9c-5139cef8923c

Winter Albergues 2018

As the cold winter months approach, pilgrims have fewer options in lodgings. Many albergues and hostals close during this season, waiting to open again near Easter. The following is a list of those albergues that are available for the winter pilgrimage. They are in order from east to west and contain information about closing dates and reservation requirements. This list is presented with information compiled from albergues invierno at aprinca.com and is valid as of November 16, 2018. Buen Camino!

Winter Camino

 

VALCARLOS – Municipal

RONCESVALLES – Colegiata

ZUBIRI – Rio Arga reservation is recommended

URDANIZ – Acá y Allá   reservation is recommended

ARRE – Albergue Trinidad de Arre

PAMPLONA – Albergue de Pamplona  closing dates 24/12, 25/12, 26/12 and from 15/1 to 15/2 –  reservation is required

PAMPLONA – Hostel Hemingway  closing dates from 16/12

PAMPLONA –  Xarma Hostel  closing dates 24/12, 25/12 and from 31/12 to 10/1

PAMPLONA – Plaza Catedral closing dates 24/12, 25/12, 31/12, 1/1 and 7/1 January & February Sun.-Thurs. reserve only groups more than 5

PAMPLONA –Jesús y María  closing dates 22/12 to 8/1

UTERGA – Casa Baztán – reservation is required –  closing dates 23/12 to 15/1

MURUZÁBAL- Mendizábal  closing dates 14/11 to 1/12

PUENTE LA REINA – Estrella Guía –reservation is required

PUENTE LA REINA – Padres Reparadores

CIRAUQUI – Refugio Bidegain  Same day reservations

ESTELLA – Capuchinos Rocamador  closing dates 22/12, 23/12, 24/12, 25/12, 29/12, 30/12, 31/12 1/1, 4/1, 5/1, 6/1; and from 16/1 to 3/3

ESTELLA – La Hostería de Curtidores  reservation is recommended  reservation is required January & February

ESTELLA – Ágora Hostel closing dates 30/11 to 28/2

ESTELLA – Municipal  closing dates 10/12 to 13/1

LOS ARCOS – La Fuente Casa de Austria  closing dates10/12 to 31/1

TORRES DEL RIO – Casa Mariela/H. San Andrés – closing dates 31/12 to 7/01

VIANA –Municipal

LOGROÑO – Municipal

LOGROÑO – Acogida parroquial Santiago El Real

LOGROÑO – Hostel  Entresueños  closing dates 10/12 to 18/1- Weekends only

NAVARRETE – El Cántaro reservation is recommended closing dates 20/12 to 5/1 and from 5/2 to 28/2            

NÁJERA  – Las Peñas

CIRUEÑA – Virgen de Guadalupe  reservation is required

SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA – Casa de la Cofradía del Santo

GRAÑON –Parroquial San Juan Bautista

GRAÑON  – Casa de las Sonrisas – reservation is required – closing dates 15/11 to 20/2 (except with reservations)

GRAÑON – Residencial Cuartel – reservation is required – closing dates 21/12 to 10/1

REDECILLA DEL CAMINO – Municipal San Lázaro

REDECILLA DEL CAMINO – Essentia

VILORIA DE RIOJA – Acacio y Orietta   reservation is required  closing dates from 16/12

BELORADO – Hostel.B  reservation is required –  closing dates 24/12, 25/12, 31/12 and 1/1

VILLAMBISTIA – Municipal San Roque  From 1/2 to 28/2 open only Sat. & Sun.

AGÉS – Municipal  Taberna de Agés  Closed Wednesdays

ATAPUERCA – La Hutte  reservation is recommended – closing dates 24/12, 25/12, 31/12 and 1/1

CARDEÑUELA DE RÍO PICO –Santa Fe closing dates 24/12 and 25/12  Closed Tuesdays except for groups reserving 5 or more reservation is required

BURGOS – Hostel Burgos  closing dates 24/12 and 31/12

BURGOS – Municipal Casa de los Cubos

TARDAJOS – La Casa de Beli  closing dates from 26/12

RABÉ DE LAS CALZADAS – Liberanos Domine – reservation is recommendedclosing dates 1/12 to 10/12

HORNILLOS DEL CAMINO – Municipal  reservation is recommended –  closing dates 1/2 to 28/2

HONTANAS –  Municipal San Juan  reservation is recommended

HONTANAS – El Puntido  closing dates from 24/11 – reservation is recommended

CASTROJERIZ – A Cien Leguas

CASTROJERIZ – Municipal San Esteban

ITERO DE LA VEGA – Municipal

ITERO DE LA VEGA – Puente Fitero

BOADILLA DEL CAMINO –Titas

FRÓMISTA –Betania reservation is recommended

FRÓMISTA – Luz de Frómista – reservation is recommended closing dates 20/12 to 8/1

POBLACIÓN DE CAMPOS – Municipal – closing date from 17/12

CARRIÓN DE LOS CONDES – Casa Espíritu Santo

CALZADILLA DE LA CUEZA – Camino Real

LEDIGOS – La Morena closing dates 24/12 to 3/1

TERRADILLOS DE LOS TEMPLARIOS –Jacques de Molay  closing dates 10/12 to 31/1

MORATINOS – Casa particular Peaceable Kingdom reservation is required – closing dates 24/11 to 4/12

MORATINOS – Albergue de Moratinos

SAHAGUN – Municipal  closing dates 25/12 to 1/1

SAHAGUN – Santa Cruz  closing date from 1/12

CALZADA DEL COTO – Municipal If no answer check at Supermarket

BERCIANOS DEL REAL CAMINO –Santa Clara

EL BURGO RANERO – Municipal Domenico Laffi

RELIEGOS – Municipal Don Gaiferos

MANSILLA DE LAS MULAS – Gaia – closing dates 23/12, 24/12 and 25 /12 & closing dates 1/2 to 28/2

MANSILLA DE LAS MULAS – Municipal  closing date 1/12 to 28/2

ARCAHUEJA –  La Torre  reservation is required

LEÓN – San Francisco de Asís – closing dates 25/12, 31/12 and 1/1

LEÓN – Monasterio Madres Benedictinas

LEON– Leónhostel-reservation is recommendedclosing dates 21/12 to 9/1 (Open only Fri. & Sat. in Jan. & Feb.)

LEÓN  – Check in  – reservation is recommended

LEÓN  – Hostel Rua 35

SAN MARTÍN DEL CAMINO –Vieira

SAN MARTÍN DEL CAMINO –  La Casa Verde   closing date 23/11 to 28/2. 

VILLADANGOS DEL PÁRAMO – Albergue municipal  closing date 20/12 to 7/1

VILLAR DE MAZARIFE – Tío Pepe closing date 15/12 to 28/2

VILLAR DE MAZARIFE – Albergue de Jesús

HOSPITAL DE ÓRBIGO – La Encina –reservation is recommendedclosing date 25/12 to 1/1

HOSPITAL DE ÓRBIGO – Parroquial Karl Leisner-San Juan Bautista  closed until 31/1

VILLARES DE ÓRBIGO – Albergue Villares de Órbigo  – closing date 17/12 to 1/2

SAN JUSTO DE LA VEGA  – Juli

ASTORGA – Siervas de María

SANTA CATALINA DE SOMOZA – San Blas –reservation is required closing date 24/12, 25/12, 31/12 and 1/1, 5/1 and 6/1

RABANAL DEL CAMINO – Nuestra Señora del Pilar

EL ACEBO – La Casa del Peregrino-closing date 9/12 to 10/2.

MOLINASECA –Municipal San Roque reservation is required

PONFERRADA – Parroquial San Nicolás de Flue

PONFERRADA – Alea  closing date from 1/12

COLUMBRIANOS – San Blas  reservation is recommended – closing date 25/12 and 1/1

CAMPONARAYA – La Medina  closing dates 24/12 to 1/2

CACABELOS – La Gallega – closing dates 20/1 to 10/2 – reservation is recommended after 15/12

CACABELOS – El Molino – reservation is recommended  Closed Tuesdays.

VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO – La Piedra closing date from 23/11

VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO – Leo – closing date from 19/12

AMBASMESTAS – Das Ánimas  reservation is recommended

VEGA DE VALCÁRCE – El Paso – reservation is recommended  closing date 10/12 to 15/3

RUITELAN – Pequeño Potala

O CEBREIRO – Xunta

HOSPITAL DA CONDESA – Xunta

ALTO DO POIO – Santa María do Poio reservation is recommended – closing dates 24/12, 31/12, 1/1 and 2/1

TRIACASTELA – Xunta

CALVOR – Xunta

SAMOS –  San Cristovo do Real – Xunta

SAMOS – Monasterio Benedictino

SARRIA – Xunta

SARRIA – Credencial – reservation is recommended 

SARRIA – La Casona closing dates 24/12, 25/12, 31/12 and 1/1 – reservation is recommended

SARRIA – Don Álvaro Closed 17/11, 24/11 – closing dates 17/12 to 17/1 – reservation is required January & February

SARRIA – Durmiento – closing date from 1/12

BARBADELO – Xunta

FERREIROS – Xunta

PORTOMARÍN – Xunta

PORTOMARÍN – Ultreia

PORTOMARÍN – Pons Minea

PORTOMARIN – Casona da Ponte

PORTOMARÍN – Folgueira

GONZAR – Xunta

O HOSPITAL DE LA CRUZ – Xunta

EIREXE – Xunta

OS CHACOTES – Xunta

PALAS DE REI – Xunta

PALAS DE REI – A Casina di Marcello  reservation is required – Closed until 3/1

PALAS DE REI  – Zendoira – reservation is required –  Closed Sundays closing dates 21/12 to 31/1

CASANOVA – Xunta

MELIDE – Xunta

MELIDE – Pereiro.  closing date 25/12 to 1/1

MELIDE –  Arraigos  – reservation is recommendedclosing date 12/11 tol 26/11

RIBADISO – Xunta

ARZÚA – Xunta

ARZÚA – Vía Láctea – reservation is recommended

ARZÚA – De Camino   closing dates 14/11 to 19/11; 24/12, 25/12, 31/12, 1/1 and 6/1

O PINO – Xunta

PEDROUZO –  O Burgo – closing date 1/12 to 28/2

PEDROUZO – Cruceiro – reservation is recommended closing date 10/12 to 28/2

MONTE DO GOZO – Xunta

 

 

 

 

 

Hallowe’en Camino-style…

Magosto VillafrancaAs autumn extends its grip along the camino, the presence of pilgrims begin to fade like the colors in the landscape. The numbers arriving in Santiago de Compostela drop dramatically in November. But there is still plenty of life in the villages, towns and cities that line the way. The magosto is a typical celebration in many places in northern Spain, so it is very likely that you’ll discover one if late fall finds you walking along the route. It is celebrated close to All Souls’ Day (early November) in most places. The festival’s origin is the harvest celebration and the chestnut is the star along with new wines and cured meats such as chorizo. Rituals may include blackening one’s face with soot, jumping the bonfires to insure good luck, playing traditional games, telling stories and singing popular songs. But no matter where you attend magosto, chestnuts and bonfires will always be at the heart of the fiesta.

Childhood dreams in a treehouse …on the camino!

Casa Maitenea interiorAlways dreamed about spending a night in a treehouse? You can realize that castle in the air along the Camino Francés in Puente La Reina.  Hotel Jakue offers a single accommodation in a small house connected to the rest of the hotel by a walkway. There is a private bath and full amenities such as air conditioning, TV and an extra bed for a third person. (if required) The treehouse is called Casa Maitenea and can be booked through the hotel. Prices start at €120 and include breakfast.

Conmen of the Camino de Santiago hold up pilgrims’ progress

Yellow scallop signs marking out the Camino de Santiago route are being tampered with according to authorities in Spain

Pilgrims are being lead into temptation along the Camino de Santiago, as unscrupulous bar owners switch signs and tamper with markings to divert them to their establishments.

Spanish tourism authorities say that yellow scallop signs, the symbol marking out the route, are being tampered with to deliberately lead pilgrims astray.

In some cases, yellow arrows have been sprayed on roads that take some of the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims walkers off the strait and narrow and onto long detours that may get them lost.

The worst “black spot” is in Ponferrada, in northwest Spain near the end of the route in Santiago de Compostela.

At one junction on the outskirts of the city, yellow arrow marks and fake scallop paintings have been found directing walkers away from the official route and into the path of bars.

“The problem is the bad image that this gives to the pilgrimage as well as the city of Ponferrada,” Roger de la Cruz, president of the Friends of the Camino de Santiago, said. “The signs on the Camino are sacred and they cannot modify it for commercial or personal interests.”

Efforts are being made by cities on the route to bring in a standard yellow symbol to stop walkers being tricked. At present there is a scallop symbol but in some areas arrows direct walkers.

Every year hundreds of thousands of people cross northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the apostle St James are said be.

The route has grown in popularity thanks to a publicity push by the Galician regional government — the number of participants has grown from 99,000 in 1993 to 301,000 last year.

(Story courtesy The Times of London July 16th, 2018)

 

New Albergues and Hotels 2018 on the Camino

El Encanto

El Rincón de Pin

Via Avis

Though its is ancient, the camino is not static. The continuing increase in pilgrims means new lodgings appear every year. Here are six new establishments looking to give you comfort at the end of a long day’s walk. In Villares de Órbigo, a new albergue has received many positive reviews. Albergue El Encanto is the vision of it’s owner Marta. The next lodging is in Santa Catalina de Somoza. Lying in the heart of the Margatería, past Astorga, and heading toward Foncebadón, this Hotel Rural has been beautifully restored by owners Daina and Carlos with breathtaking views of the mountains of León. A small piece of luxury on the camino. In Ruitelán, a former albergue has been given new life and renovations by it new owner, Pin. Look for El rincón de Pin where you will be most heartily welcomed. Just past Astorga, in the beautiful stone village of Castrillo de los Polvazares, a small hotel cum artist’s retreat has opened it’s doors. Called Flores Del Camino, it is the inspired vision of Basia and Bertrand Goodwin. The owners of Meson O Tapas on Rúa Maior in Sarria have added badly needed rooms with their new lodging, Hotel Novoa. Finally, in Melide, on the busy Sarria to Santiago stretch, a newly built albergue, O Candil, has arisen on the Rúa Principal. All this growth signifies that the Camino remains an adventure many want to undertake. And a place where are people are willing to invest their time, energy and money to make their camino dreams come alive.

mycaminobed now available as a Mobile app in the App Store and Google Play Store !

We are pleased to announce that the new mycaminobed mobile app is now available for iPhone and Android phones. Starting today, current mycaminobed users can use this app to quickly access their lodging needs as they walk along the Camino Francés to Santiago de Compostela. The same ability to quickly book your room in three easy steps is now just a click away on your mobile device. Using Google Maps, GPS and Booking.com, the pilgrim has all the tools to ensure a good night’s rest while making their way along the camino. Download today for free from the App Store or Google Play Store and start planning your next adventure.

 

The biggest pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago…you may never see

Pilgrim statue at Villabilla de BurgosAs the path winds its way westward through the suburbs of Burgos, the last small town of Villalbilla de Burgos lies sandwiched between the industrial zone Los Brezos and the Madrid-Irun railway corridor. The name seems to be a corruption of its ancient name of Villa Alba (White Palace). Historically, it has always formed part of the camino’s passage through the lands of Burgos. In medieval times, the town hosted a pilgrim hospital and lodgings. However, the construction of the rail line in the 19th century as well as other building projects moved the camino route closer to the river Arlanzón and its irrigation ditches. The town council allowed the municipal albergue to close and the camino played a less crucial role in the village. Not wishing to completely let go of their historic position, the town (without official permission) erected a giant bronze statue of a pilgrim striding forward. They placed it in a roundabout on the N-120  as it heads toward Tardajos. Now it is the swirl of traffic that keeps this pilgrim company on the way to his goal.

 

 

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…along the Camino de Santiago

 

Magosto VillafrancaAs autumn extends its grip along the camino, the presence of pilgrims begin to fade like the colors in the landscape. The numbers arriving in Santiago de Compostela drop dramatically in November. But there is still plenty of life in the villages, towns and cities that line the way. The magosto is a typical celebration in many places in northern Spain, so it is very likely that you’ll discover one if late fall finds you walking along the route. It is celebrated close to All Souls’ Day (early November) in most places. The festival’s origin is the harvest celebration and the chestnut is the star along with new wines and cured meats such as chorizo. Rituals may include blackening one’s face with soot, jumping the bonfires to insure good luck, playing traditional games, telling stories and singing popular songs. But no matter where you attend magosto, chestnuts and bonfires will always be at the heart of the fiesta.

 

 

 

magosto fiesta Camino de Santiago

 

Bridges in the burbs… along the Camino de Santiago in Pamplona

 bridge at Trinidad de Arre Villava Pamplona Camino de Santiago

Bridge at Trinidad de Arre

Molino de San Andrés

As the Pyrenees fall behind you, you come to the hard streetscape of your first major city on the camino – Pamplona. Continuing along the main walking route from Zabaldika, you enter the barrio of Villava. Here the Río Ulzama wends its way towards an eventual meeting with the Río Arga. But the camino presents two choices. When you reach the medieval bridge at Trinidad de Arre, you can cross and pass the Basilica de la Sanctissima Trinidada, the site of a small pilgrim hospital in the old days. From here the route follows the busy streets into the heart of the city through the suburb of Burlada. Or you can pass the bridge, keeping the river on your right. The city of Pamplona has a beautiful linear park system that traces the Río Arga’s path. Your next signpost is the Molino de San Andrés, a restored 16th century mill. At this point the two rivers join together and are spanned by another ancient bridge. Now it is just a leisurely stroll along the riverbanks, free from traffic, until the ancient city begins to fill your vision.