Cervera de Pisuerga is a nice little town, good restaurants, cafés on the square, a supermarket or two.
Day 9. Cervera de Pisuerga to Guardo (39 km)
A. Cervera de Pisuerga to Tarilonte de la Peña (20 km).
B. Tarilonte de Pisuerga to Guardo (19)
The 39 to Guardo is obviously a very long day. It starts with a short ascent to an abandoned mine.
From the mine, I was glad to have my GPS. After you descend to the first town, there is a lot of flat, off-road walking with the very pretty Monte Palentina in your sights. It is really a very nice walk, lots of wide open spaces with mountains in the distance.
I know that some have just stayed on the road, the CL-626, but that would be much less pleasant IMO and not much shorter. The camino really takes you through some little villages that time has forgotten ... if only there were a café-bar or two! I remember a very welcome rest in Santibañez de la Peña, about 12 before Guardo, cold drink, nice people. @alansykes reports that the Bar Mylo in Santibañez has rooms, so that would be a 27 km day. I think a phone call ahead would be reasonable — 979 86 02 94
When I walked by myself in 2014 I stayed in Guardo in the Real Hotel. The second time, we stayed in the albergue, which is great. Wonderful hospitalero. The albergue takes in a lot of groups, but they are used to having Olvidado pilgrims. We coincided with a group of mountain bikers and enjoyed the interaction, but I imagine it could get noisy. Both the albergue and the Real Hotel are outside of the center and up a hill, at least 1.5 km away. So bring anything you need with you unless you fancy walking back down. If you are going to take the “old” route to Puente Almuhey, these places are right on the Camino. If you want to take the Caminayo mountain alternative, you will have to go back down and through the center of town to get on that route.
As I look back on my notes, I remember one of those very wonderful camino moments on my first trip through Guardo. I arrived alone dragging my feet. It was a weekend, late afternoon, and I wasn’t sure where I was going to sleep, because a small hotel on the outskirts was full. I saw the ayuntamiento door was open, which surprised me, but I went inside. I heard some voices far in the back and scared the two cleaning people out of their skins when I came upon them and said hola. They then took it upon themselves to find me a place to stay, surely not in their job description. It occurred to me that I got much better treatment from the cleaning staff in this Ayuntamiento than I have gotten in others from the officials in charge. They were so sweet.
For many 40 km is too long. You can pretty precisely cut it in half with a stop in Tarilonte de la Peña, where there is a small hotel rural, El Yunque. According to the website, the hotel may let you use their kitchen. It is a very small town/village, I remember a nice rest outside the pretty church. A bar is open only May-Sept, 1-3 and 7-10 (sounds like the summer hours when all the Spaniards go home to “their pueblos.” They also own the Casa Rural El Encinar. Stopping in Tarilonte gives you two 20 km days. I am not sure which churches are pictured below, though they are definitely on this day’s walk, but one of them is surely Tarilonte!
So it seems like there are multiple good ways to break up the 40 kms. Once again, we have busted the myth of unavoidably long stages on the Olvidado.
Accommodation in Cervera de Pisuerga
|Casa Las Vacas|
|Hotel Rural Peñalabra
|Hotel Rural Molino de Valdesgares|
|Hotel El Roble
|Albergue Juvenil Arbejal|