Since the Olvidado and the Vadiniense cross here, I have spent three nights in Cistierna — once in the albergue (which was fine) and twice in the Hostal Moderno (small basic hotel, wonderful staff, do not miss their restaurant’s menú del día). I’ve told this story before, but when I checked into the Moderno in 2019, the women at the desk, said — oh I remember you, I once pulled a tick out of your back! And she was right, but it was five years earlier.
People are very nice in this town, and there is a park/playground up the hill beyond the albergue where many gather in the afternoons. Lots of cafés along the main street. I remember one place coming into town on the right, next to a “tienda de chinos” where the owners served great little Chinese food tapas with the drinks. That is not a common occurrence in Spain!
Day 12. Cistierna to Boñar (28 km)
Ender’s guide shows two different routes from Cistierna, both of which meet up in La Ercina. We could not find the way for the longer route, but one pilgrim reported — “The new version of the Olvidado goes uphill to San Pedro de Foncallada, 1-2 km longer than the flatter version, but very pretty. And then the necessary 2-3 romanesque or later churches to keep you going.”
Even on the “old route,” the first part of the walk is quite nice. When you go over the río Esla right after leaving town the Vadiniense/Olvidado split is well marked. This is a mostly flat day as you transition from the mountains behind Cistierna over to the mountains behind Boñar.
Stopping before Boñar
1: La Ercina
About 11 km beyond Cistierna is La Ercina, with an albergue. Tel 987 712 051/648 032 831.
La Ercina an ethnographic museum. It looks like a collection of old work implements, some from mining (along with a tribute to the “Ercina 14” who must be miners who died in the mines.
Since it is a rather short day, I did some hunting around to find ways to fill in the time, and it looks like there is a very nice route to visit some old castros (hill forts). Wikiloc shows several short routes — an 8 km circle. And this one with some nice photos of the views from the top.
2: Santa Colomba.
If 11 km is too short, I think the slightly off-route Hotel Rural Monasterio de Ara-Mada looks very nice. It in the village of Santa Colomba de las Arrimadas,
The owners are actively involved in promoting the Camino Olvidado. Their website shows a map and describes a 15 minute walk from La Devesa to their hotel. This would be about a 22 km day.