I'll be setting off at the end of September. I've got 18 days. Haven't decided on whether to set off from Valencia or Alicante. I'm open to persuasion. I fly into Valencia and would ideally like at least a couple of days there. I aim to walk as far as Toledo this year and have a day or two in Madrid before flying home to London.
Allowing for a days travel on either end that leaves me with say 12 walking days. Four days to get from Valencia or Alicante to Albacete. So here are some questions not all Camino related but perhaps some here will know the answers. I can't find any indication that there are but would hate to miss anything that is there. The first day out of Valencia doesn't appear to inspire anyone very much. It looks very small. Failing that where can I get a list of the albergues and hostales with their phone numbers?
Muchas gracias Steve. Some info from my Levante , My distances were small until Toledo as I was walking with a friend. After Toledo walking alone I have many 37 km days.
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The distance was crazy on the first day and very boring, plus we started late. We did shave off a few kilometers train , the only time cheated on the walk. Albacete famous for the knife. Great looking souvenir and useful for the Camino. Monte del Cuervo make time to visit the windmills whether you stay there or not. Forgot the town but there is one where the albergue is actually at the bull ring. The town just under 20 km before Albacete where the Sureste and Levante meets.
Better place to stay than Albacete big city. Make sure you have some navigation guide to get yourself out of Albacete as many pilgrims got lost hours wasted trying to get out of the place. Add the Camino Levante kml route here's mine. Nice old building town hall in Tembleque. Finally of course the view entering Toledo. Hope you have time to complete the Levante another trip? Incredible for me that immediately after Toledo the landscape changed dramatically. Castilian Guest. Hi Bachibouzouk! Welcome to the forum! Bachibouzouk said:. Any accommodation in Belmonte? Are the hikes out to Campo de Criptana and Consuegra both worth the long detours?
Any recent guidebook, preferably in English, published on either of the two Caminos? Donating Member. Bad Pilgrim Veteran Member. Don't forget that the Camino de Levante makes a turn southwards before going up again. The Camino del Sureste is more straightforward. I think it would be easy to find out on the Internet! If you haven't found anything, I guess not And she is not a cultural savage, like me That's right. I did Levante from Valencia in , and Sureste from Alicante in The first three stages more or less on the Levante is almost entirely on asphalt.
Leaving Valencia you pass a lot of suburbs. I don't have any problem with asphalt at all so I wasn't bothered. But I lost the arrows quite a few times in that urban environment the first day and had to rely on maps and compass. On the contrary, leaving Alicante, you are thrown out in the wilderness right away the asphalt continues a bit, though. You can read more about it in my report from last year in the Sureste section of this Forum. It's not really inspiring either, in June or July, when everything is burned And there's no bar or albergue for the first 24 kms as I recall it.
It's a close call between the Sureste and the Levante until Albacete. On both ways, there are interesting towns, of the same size, a lot of castles The landscape is similar as they are in the same area and finally converge in Albacete. I think it's only those first stages of the Levante that bored me a bit, and that would make me choose the Sureste before the Levante. Especially I did like the first stage to the village of Orito on the Sureste. There's a beautiful ermita, La Cueva de San Pascual, upon a hill, that made my first day feel like I was thrown out on a pilgrimage from the very start!
Sorry, no idea. I don't recall that name: is it out of the official caminos? Same answer as above. Sorry, I always use guidebooks in Spanish when available. I remember that the English guidebook of the Levante was not being as up to date as the version in Spanish. If there's an English version of the guidebook of the Sureste I do not know. It's the same list as the one I attach here if I can find out how So it's a list of albergues and accomodation on the Camino del Sureste as of June You must mean La Roda!
You mean Chinchilla? That's an awsome place to stop, I agree. Clarifying: Chinchilla is obligatory on the Levante, but optional on the Sureste. So either the Levante and the Sureste meet there, or in Albacete. Oh, yes, I agree about Chinchilla. It would be a shame to just walk right through, because the camino doesn't go up through the square, past the amazing castle, etc. Staying at a truck stop on the highway isn't the nicest place in the world to be, but it was fine, the food was decent, and the afternoon up in the old town was really nice. Thanks one and all for your posts and time, of great assistance in helping me crystalize my plans.
I discovered yesterday that I can fly out to Alicante straight after work, thus gaining me an extra day. I'll put Valencia on the backburner for another visit. Unlikely to spend more than a day in Alicante, so that'll be a second day gained. Almansa - Higueruela 30 kms Higueruela - Chinchilla 30 kms - taken on board your recommendations, Peregrina and Bad Pilgrim. Chinchilla - Albacete 18 kms - still want at least an afternoon there.
International Brigades, Laurie Lee, Like everything else it is probably an inspiration rather than an exact location. Poring over the map yesterday I was reaching a similar conclusion. Leave the Camino to take in Campo Criptana and Consuegra. This would also allow me to go via Puerto Lapice, where Don Quixote makes his night vigil and is knighted by the inn-keeper. Perhaps over k nighting at Alcazar de San Juan and Consuegra before rejoining the Camino at Tembleque don't want to miss that famous town square. My map isn't detailed enough for that but presumably there will be a way.
If you have any further thoughts I'd very much appreciate them. I emailed the office in Valencia some months ago to find out how I could purchase this one but got no reply. I'm assuming it is the same guidebook that has been described as very heavy. So I'm now of a mind to wing it and pick up information as I go along particularly as I'm going to be switching Caminos and routes.
Thanks for the list of distances Evan, very useful. I intend to resume the walk in GR20 across Corsica is on the cards for next year from Toledo up to Benavente Camino Sureste as I've been to Zamora a couple of times and Tordesillas and Valladolid are places I must visit. But that's all a long, long way away So any further thoughts on Yecla to Almansa and the Quixote detour welcome.
This convinced me to give Cervantes another try, particularly with this walk across La Mancha in mind. Well, it may be all in the translation, but the Edith Grossman's version is so readable and has such great footnotes that I'm wondering why I never persevered with the novel in the past. Canuck Veteran wanderer. So any further thoughts on Last edited: Aug 2, Almansa - Higueruela 30 kms. Elda - Yecla 40 kms Yecla - Almansa 40 kms. Okay, I've just posted the list of accomodation on the Camino del Sureste in the Camino Ressources category, as Laurie suggested!
Bad Pilgrim said:. Uh-oh, are you sure about the distance? This could be a 40 kms stage different sources give different kms but I'm sure it's more than KinkyOne Veteran Member. Canuck: I wasn't aware of either the book or the website. All the info I have been able to gather seems to be geared at those with cars rather than at walkers. I've only taken a cursory glance at the website but the map looks encouraging. Yecla: think I was drawing on the info in someone's blog Bad Pilgrim?
Caudete sounds just as good. Amendment made. Distance from Almansa to Higueruela: my poor arithmetic. Amended to 40km. Monsignor Quixote on Radio 4: thanks for the heads-up, Alan. I stayed in the albergue attached to the monastery in Oseira and did indeed get to see the room that Graham Greene used. Those 'cells' not quite as Spartan as I had imagined.
Certainly better appointed than a good many places I have stayed in, including the rather breezy albergue at the monastery!
Muchas gracias to all. KinkyOne said:. Break it in Alpera. Alpera to Higueruela showed me 26kms. Wikiloc tracks show kms and that is consistent with what they told us in Almansa. My little group of three decided to take a detour over to Alpera to break the stage up into two. We then backtracked about 3 km to get back on the off-road route into Higueruela, but you could just continue on the road from Alpera. We were the very first pilgrims to stay in Alpera, a nice albergue with little patio, kitchen on ground floor I think.
There are also cave drawings up in the hills nearby, and a local curator drove us up since we had no car and gave us a tour and explanation. It was kind of hard to make out the drawings, since they had suffered so much degradation from human touching, but the views were great, and it is always humbling to make contact with things done by humans so many thousands of years ago. Buen camino, Laurie. Yes, That's better. I did Almansa-Higueruela though. There's nowhere to get water.
The last 11 kms were on asphalt if I'm not mistaken Donovan Active Member. Haven't checked the distance of that asphalt stretch but to me it felt like neverending in the heat althought I was walking "only" from Alpera another 25kms or so. And that's the turn off marker for Alpera - 3,6km.
This may already be clear from the earlier posts just in case. If you go from Alpera to Higueruela directly, it is all asphalt 21 km. If you backtrack from Alpera to the Levante to the place that Kinky's photo shows on the previous post I think that's the intersection at the Carrascal ranch , you still have some asphalt at the end of the walk into Higueruela but it is much less roughly 8 km asphalt vs.
The stage is short anyway with the backtracking it's about 25 km total , so those extra 3 km are not going to make much difference. And you save, if my arithmetic is correct, about 13 kms of asphalt, which is not trivial. And that's the turn off marker for Alpera - 3,6km View attachment Hi, Steve, Welcome to the forum. Is there a reason to go to Belmonte? There is a small parroquial albergue in Las Pedroneras, but we went to the perfectly fine hostal on the highway that had a decent menu del dia if my memory is working right. The only Levante guidebook I'm aware of is in English and Spanish, but the English version is a few years older.
I think the Spanish version is Even if you get the older English version, you'll get the more up to date maps for any changes in the route. The book is published by the association. I think they may have updated the guide in the past two years going by t Hi, Just to say it is nice to know another person will be on this walk in September, I am starting on the 7th from Valencia at your pace you will catch and pass me very quickly but keep an eye out for a pilgrim just sauntering along or having a nap outside a bar.
It will be good to have a chat. A Pilgrim's Progress. Albacete - Day 6. No sign of any other walkers. Fine if, like me, you like sun, solitude and cerveza. So no problem with accommodation. Two of the places I have stayed in only had 3 beds, so nonetheless a good idea to phone ahead.
Would be disheartening to get turned away or to have to sleep on the floor. Also means I've not been bothered by snoring, farting and smelly feet - except my own of course! And none of those irritating walkers, who set their alarms for am, two hours before daybreak, and spend the next half an hour rustling and rumaging around repacking their backpacks, dropping stuff, and with their head-torches on full beam. Invariably these are the same middle-aged men with harsh guttural accents, who get bolshy when you arrive at the next place at pm and disturb their afternoon siesta.
What's going on? They're walking in the dark and sleeping half the day. Gurdjieff would have had something to say about that, I feel. Hot shower and a good bed everywhere - that's what counts. Some thoughts that may assist future walkers: 1 the volunteer at the Amigos del Camino in Alicante told me that a detailed guidebook was presently being printed. Should be available within the next month.
I didn't ask but presumably in Spanish.
A great boon to people like me who always get lost leaving big towns. You should be following the rio and not the road, as some poor fool did. The road will lead you into a labyrinth of quarries and will prolong your day by at least an hour! Nowadays you would need a machete to get through. It is absolutely impossible.
However the Camino is perfectly practicable until a couple of km short of Sax. At that point you can take the road into town. Dogs: there were a few, but then again all safely behind fences. Disconcerting but not dangerous. There's an awful lot of Camino running parallel to the motorway. I could look into the eyes of the oncoming drivers. For those without a faint heart you might want to consider setting off on the Sureste towards Montealegre. Half way there there's a road C? I guess this would add a further 10 km to your day and its over, rather around, the hills.
On the other hand you'd miss the Almansa battlefield, where it is said that for the only time in recorded history the English troops were commanded by a Frenchman and the French troops by an Englishman. Go figure. I needed some time on Google and Wiki to work it all out. End of the day or just after sunrise? It may feel like more than what you want to do, but just fmake yourself do it. Accommodation: 1 Hotel Santa Ana in Elda: 10 euros.
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Bar does menu del dia at 9 euros and an early breakfast. There's a restaurant in town that does a 8. Plenty of eating and breakfasting possibilities in town. La Posada does menu del dia in the evenings. Another bar closeby opens early for morning coffee. Does menu and early breakfast. Hoping this makes some sense. Afternoon with my feet up, resting those blisters and making the most of the afternoon sun.
Blame the predictive text rather than the cervezas for any discombobulations. If you're interested in tilting at windmills, I do hope you won't miss Mota del Cuervo, a couple of hours before El Toboso. It's a friendly place with decent food but, more importantly, it has the best selection of Cervantes-era windmills, dominating the skyline just out of town, and well worth the short detour.
If you stick to the Levante, you'll also pass through several places that feature in Lazarillo de Tormes, including Escalona where he substitutes his nasty blind master's tasty chorizo with turnip and Machedo where his stingy priest-master only allows him an occasional onion to eat, so he prays for people to die so that he can gorge on the funeral baked-meats.
Windmills at Mota del Cuervo most certainly on my itinerary, particularly if it is a possible 'place whose name I do not care to remember'.
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My readings have lead me to believe that the 'place' might be Montiel, which isn't on my itinerary. Not familiar with Lazarillo de Tormes, other than it is the inspiration for all picaresque novels. I'm only going as far as Toledo this year, so I'll have time to read it before I continue next time. Ola Camigos. El Toboso, Day Still on my own, blaming it on the smelly feet. Albacete: contrary to received wisdom I had no problem leaving town. It's well marked on the map you can pick up at the Tourist Office. Head up Paseo de Cuba, turn right into Avenida de Cronista Mateo y Sotos and over the railway bridge, follow the railway line Nota bene: once you're over the railway line you're out of town.
No coffee, refreshments, etc.. Don't put off breakfast! For those interested in the period, the monument to the International Brigades Albacete was their HQ is in the university part of town, not far from the football stadium. It's hidden away in the Pharmacology Department? I spent quite some time looking for it. Nobody, least of all the students, had heard about it. When I eventually found it, I discovered perhaps why. It's a monument to mark 60 years of 'the volunteers of liberty'. No mention of the International Brigades.
Maybe it's still too sensitive a subject here in Spain? Sadly there's nothing else to the IB in Albacete that's open to the public. Archives are kept here but you need accreditation. I salute all those forgotten brave young men and women, many of whom never got to see home again.
It's also in Albacete that Laurie Lee thought he was spending his last night on this earth, under the impression that he was to be executed in the morning, mistaken for a Nationalist spy due to an unfortunate North African stamp in his passport. Imagine that. Due to a stroke of luck he avoids execution and is sent to Tarazona de la Mancha, where the XV British Brigade was stationed. He mentions crossing a bridge in La Gineta. An equally cursory search on my behalf revealed no bridge in La Gineta. There's certainly no river running through, though the railway does run on the other side of town.
La Roda: I had the bull ring all to myself, what a thrill. It was a brute, a beast, snorting and stamping, kicking up sand, it's eyes disdainful, body language insane. It charged. I side-stepped. It turned and came again. The bull fell lifeless at my feet. Sergio Troncoso.
Over four decades, the family struggles to become American and yet not be pulled apart by a maelstrom of cultural forces. As a young adult, daughter Julieta is disenchanted with Catholicism and converts to Islam. Youngest son Ismael, always the bookworm, is accepted to Harvard but feels out of place in the Northeast, where he meets and marries a Jewish woman. Bitter conflicts erupt between siblings, and the physical and cultural spaces between them threaten to tear them apart.
Will their shared history and once- shared dreams be enough to hold together a family from Ysleta, this wicked patch of dust? Family, in all its baffling wonder, comes alive on these pages. As the novel whirls in and out of expanding cultural identities — Mexican and American, poor, ambitious, and smart, Catholic, Muslim, and even Jewish— and yet stays centered on a family in the borderlands of Ysleta, it details a past that is more the cultural future. El Paso deserves big books, and Sergio Troncoso gives us one here—in a voice that is both his and ours.
These middle spaces have long been fodder for writers, though the El Paso-born and Harvard- educated Troncoso has created new, empathetic characters to explore it.
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Fred Arroyo shows us in his powerful and lyrical stories. These transporting fictions worry the paradox of the road as both a place itself and the means we move through place to a place beyond. Yes, these stories move and they are profoundly moving. These are people we want to know. This is a writer on whom we can rely. These stories show what many of us have known since his first book, Fred Arroyo is fundamental to U.