Poladura is a small town. The albergue is located in the former schoolhouse, and the only place to eat is the Posada El Embrujo.
A note of caution on the next section is in order. Between Poladura and the Puerto de Pajares, the camino climbs over 350m through mountainous terrain. It is a...
The trail from Arbas to Puerto de Pajares has never been good, and in recent years has gotten worse. Nowadays it is best avoided, and the distance to the mountain pass (1.3km) covered by road. This also gives you the benefit of taking a pause at the bar at the pass.
NOTE: The Asturianos, always unique, treat their signage of the camino differently. Scallop shells here are to be read backwards, which is to say that you should head towards the hinge of the scallop and NOT the open end. This is obvious in places where they indicate that you should continue straight, but take a pause with Left or Right and be sure you are not creating more walking.
The Puerto de Pajares is one of the few mountain passes which for centuries has offered passage over the mountains into Asturias from the meseta. It remained the primary corridor until the construction of the A-66 to the West. It remains a difficult road for drivers and snow is not too uncommon here in June.
Although still popular with secondary traffic and locals, most of the business here has been shuttered; including a former alpine Parador National that looks over the valleys to the North.
The village of Pajares is downhill from here, but you are advised to stay off of the road. Instead, follow it just a short way and turn to your left (information board). This trail proceeds to San Miguel del Rio, and if you have no intention of stopping in Pajares you can skip it altogether. New signs indicate the turn to Pajares, along the path previously used by locals to reach the pass. If you follow them, you will eliminate nearly 4km of unneeded walking.
One restaurant in town closed on Tuesdays. No grocery.
Leaving town, stay on the road to the city limits. The camino turns left and begins a steep decent into San Miguel del Rio in the valley below.
Santa Maria de Arbas del Puerto
The trail from Arbas to Puerto de Pajares...