Our day five on the Camino Sanabres from Entrepeñas to Puebla de Sanabria was a day filled with anticipation of our arrival in the wonderful and highly touristed town. The day's walk itself was pleasant and delightful as we walked through towns and forests that were beginning to look a lot like Galicia.
There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton, English Writer and Philosopher
The notion of a castle is frequently used as a metaphor in English literature. While the castle in Puebla de Sanabria is not a metaphor, but a most interesting historic medieval site. What a castle represented for us was part history and part magic and mystery.
On day five, our collective heads were certainly in the clouds, full of anticipation of the town that we would explore over the next few days. The castle town held much mystique in addition to the anticipation of a day of well-deserved rest where we could be tourists and malingerers after 10 days on the Way from Salamanca.
I hoped our vision of the castle in the clouds would meet our lofty expectations!
Here is my interactive map of the day, from my GPS tracks. There are cafés along the way in several of the small towns, but we did not utilize them. This being a shortened day, we all were eager to get to the destination. Our energy was higher than usual and we figured we would be in Puebla de Sanabria by Spanish lunchtime.
The day consists of more elevation gain than prior days as the terrain shifts to a more mountainous one. As the days were getting cooler, walking was less arduous as a result.
The elevation profile shows a nice long upward-trending climb for the first half of the day, of about 100 meters (328 feet), with several losses of elevation mixed in, followed by a long downward-trending second half of the day, with some climbs mixed in.
There is a nice, final, long downhill jaunt into Puebla de Sanabria.
We set out at near dawn, and while 8:00 in the morning may seem late for a start, daylight barely breaks at this time in October. There was not much of a sunrise, so the early morning photos to follow look rather dull - my apologies.
We had already had our breakfast, of ham, bread, tortilla and tomatoes, left over from the generous dinner provided the night before at the Casa Rural, Las Peñas del Corredor. There is no café in Entrepeñas, but the casa rural did have ample supplies to purchase breakfast for 2 Euro if you needed. We did help ourselves to the Nescafe, with a donation.
I started measuring the distance for the day's journey from the center of town at the church. The Camino continues from the church, around a bend and up a hill, until about 1/3 kilometer you see arrows on the road, directing you to a lane by the building shown in the photo below.
The Way to Asturianos, all three kilometers worth, is on open country lanes. It was a pleasant early morning walk.
Very shortly, you come to an open area and you see the railroad and its bridge ahead, which you will walk under at about 800 meters into the day.
While my photos don't really show it well, my body knew that it was a climb all the way to Asturianos. The lanes go in and out of the trees, sometimes flat as shown below, but mostly a steady uphill climb.
By 1.7 kilometers into the day on the Camino Sanabrés from Entrepeñas to Puebla de Sanabria, you can see an overpass and you cross over the A-52 as we had done several times on day four.
Not long after crossing the highway, the lane takes a big bend toward the west, and you can see the church tower of the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in Asturianos. The church is barely discernible in the photo below, but in reality you can see it quite a ways ahead, before you reach it.
Head directly for the church, and reach it at 2.7 kilometers.
At about kilometer 2.93 come to the crossroads with the N-525 in the center of town, at this lovely little chapel. There is a tienda and a pharmacy just to the left of the church. There is a sign for the Bar El Carmen to the right, about 150 meters. The town was still asleep when we arrived before 9:00 am! I did not check out the bar to see if it was open.
I took two close-ups from the chapel wall:
Carry on straight across the N-525 and right after the chapel you see this lovely little pilgrim's rest stop.
Only about 100 meters later you come to a T-intersection where you will see this sign, below. The way to the Albergue de Peregrinos de Asturianos is to the right, about another 1/3 kilometer and the Camino is to the left. We went left.
The albergue here has only 3 bunk-beds, for a total of 6 people and they can put up to 10 people on mattresses on the floor. Had we chosen to walk here instead of stopping in Entrepeñas, they had five of the mattresses being utilized, and we would have only just gotten mattresses, with the four of us. It would have been close!
By kilometer 3.55 we were already out of town and we joined the N-525 highway, fortunately for only about another 200 meters.
At kilometer 3.42, you take a turn to the right on a secondary paved road.
At kilometer 3.61, you veer off the pavement and onto this lane, shown below. We were beginning to see a lot more mountains ahead, and for me at least, much prettier terrain. After the turn, there is a nice downhill section as you can see.
You get to enjoy these beautiful pathways for about 2.5 kilometers before arriving into the next town of Palacios de Sanabria.
Sometimes there are walls along the path through this section.
When we encountered these path improvements, I knew it could mean only one thing - we were now entering a wetter climate. These stepping stones are usually placed over marshy ground. I didn't realize at the time that we were about to cross an arroyo, hence the low point of the drainage.
After the arroyo, the Camino takes a steady uphill climb once again. Here we could see Vim ahead, our Danish friend who always seemed to stay a few steps ahead of us.
It was most certainly looking more and more like autumn.
At kilometer 6.0, you reach this joining of trackways, at the outskirts of Palacios de Sanabria.
By 6.1 kilometers on the Camino Sanabrés from Entrepeñas to Puebla de Sanabria, you cross the pavement, and this road will shortly lead you into the center of town. After the crossing, the Way becomes a concrete road.
This town is so small that the only thing I photographed was the hermitage, shown below. There is a café just down the street a few meters off-Camino to the left (south) and along the N-525. There is also a casa rural called the Alojamientos Carrero directly across the street from the hermitage, also to the south, if you needed to end your day here.
You arrive at the hermitage at kilometer 6.3 and head for the mojón up the hill to the right, as shown in the photo below. Or you can just stay on the pavement and round the hermitage to the left instead. By going up the hill you get a chance to properly view the front of the building.
After walking around the hermitage, you walk down the terraced side of the church and make a right turn, to cross a paved road. Then, look for a sign directing you to the left and onto this lane shown below. The sun was directly behind me, so you can see me taking the photo of this intersection.
It is another nice 2.3 kilometers on these lanes until the next town of Remesal.
At around 7.6 kilometers, you come to an old bridge across the Arroyo de Porto, barely visible in the tangled brush. I took a photo of it, but it just didn't come out well, as the vegetation was so overgrown around it that you couldn't even tell by the photo that it was a bridge.
And right after the bridge, sure enough, we joined a short section of an ancient road, most likely Roman, climbing up and out of the arroyo. I do love a good Roman road!
As we continued to climb, we walked through the most amazing forest with the most stately and "enchanted" trees. This forest and the Roman road certainly helped fuel our imagination for a day with our heads in the clouds!
At approx. kilometer 8.1, you come to a two-lane paved road and cross it, shown below.
Then it is onward, on the final elevation gain on more lanes to the next village of Remesal.
At kilometer 8.5, just before the town, you are essentially at the highest point in altitude for the day at 1014 meters (3327 feet).
Arrive in Remesal by about 8.63 kilometers into the day on the Camino Sanabrés from Entrepeñas to Puebla de Sanabria. After crossing the paved road near the edge of town there is a nice rest area, a fountain, a pilgrim's placard and information as you can see below. There are no other services here in this small town.
Carry on straight here, and continue on the road that is now concrete. Pass by the sweetest little stone chapel.
Next you take a left out of town on a small road at this intersection.
The road ends and the Camino picks up this lovely lane by this old stone building.
The lovely lane takes you into the forest once again, this time for about a kilometer's worth of a shady and walled way.
At about 9.7 kilometers into the day, you cross under a power line cut, on the Camino Sanabrés from Entrepeñas to Puebla de Sanabria.
At about kilometer 9.88, you can hear a motorway, and the forest path then takes a sharp bend to parallel the A-52 highway. Fortunately, it is only for about 1/3 kilometer, before you climb up to this hairpin turn, shown below.
This high turn leads you to the overpass of the A-52, where you cross under the power lines again and walk over and above the highway. It is at about 10.5 kilometers when you actually cross the highway on the overpass.
About 400 meters later, along a partially-treed lane, you take a right hand turn to head toward the next town of Otero de Sanabria. There were seven of us now, all walking together and chatting away, and we all missed the turn! The turn was clearly waymarked, shown below, but we had to retrace our steps after a kind farmer turned us around. We were just not paying attention.
Shortly after the turn, you walk under yet another large power line cut.
At about kilometer 11.4 we came to Otero de Sanabria, where we were directed to turn right again to enter town. The three men were walking ahead as we sauntered through town.
Meander through town until you come to this church, and pass by it on the left hand side, and continue on straight and to the west.
Across from the church is a nice wine bar if you would like to stop for a break. Since our day was so short, we did not feel like we wanted a stop but chose to push on toward our final destination and enjoy the ambiance there instead.
Just beyond the church we passed this wonderful old stone structure shown below. I was enchanted by it.
Several meters after the church, at about kilometer 12.1, you take a right hand turn to leave Otero de Sanabria on a nice side lane. Here is the turn, waymarked by the wall.
At 12.4 kilometers, we left Otero's small side road and turned right onto the secondary road shown here. The views ahead made us very anticipatory for the possibility of seeing our vision in the clouds - Puebla de Sanabria. It seemed possible to catch sight of it soon.
Without a doubt as we continued on along this road, we were going to have a drop in elevation. You can see this nice drop on the elevation profile above, after 12.5 kilometers.
The walk along this paved road is almost two kilometers until the next town of Triufé.
Unfortunately, at this point we were not to get a view of Puebla de Sanabria at least not yet! Instead we dropped down to cross another arroyo, just after walking under the A-52 again at around kilometer 13.2.
Of course, when you drop down to cross a drainage, the odds are that you will climb back up the other side. Today was no exception. Still remaining on the same secondary road, we took a wide hairpin turn on the climb out of the drainage.
At kilometer 14.2, we entered the town of Triufé. The entire group of seven decided it was time to stop and take a break from the sun. No more pushing for now.
The Camino turns left, ahead just beyond the town sign, as you can see in the photo below, but we all found a shady spot along a wall in town, a bit farther on for our break.
After our break and after turning left we meandered through the southside of town, and past the charming Iglesia de Triufé at kilometer 14.6 on the Camino Sanabrés from Entrepeñas to Puebla de Sanabria.
Just beyond the church there are two rural homes, the Casa Rural Calma del Lago on the right and the Casa Rural El Refugio del Poeta on the left. Shown below is a mural the Refugio had painted on their wall: "Nothing more I ask, Heaven above me and the Camino under my feet." Lovely! This certainly fit our mood, with our head in the clouds, full of vision of the "castle" ahead!
We continued onward through the lovely small town of Triufé on the Camino Sanabrés from Entrepeñas to Puebla de Sanabria.
At kilometer 14.9, at the far western edge of town, you turn left onto this final stretch of highway.
Walking along this highway feels very lofty indeed, as you can see below. My feet were happy and light, as we were almost there. Here is Norm and Nadine at the crest of the final hill before the drop into Puebla de Sanabria.
And then suddenly, the drop begins, as you cross the A-52 on this overpass at kilometer 15.8 and the fortress town fills your view. Our vision at last - with and without architecture!
The descent is quite steep here after the highway overpass, as the views continued to astound us.
At kilometer 16.2 you come to the very busy highway, the N-525 and turn to the right. Almost immediately after the turn, pass the Hotel J Enrimary, shown below.
As you walk along the N-525 be careful! There is lots of traffic and you are forced to walk on the shoulder, as you can see here.
Farther along, there is a small shortcut to get you off the shoulder just before the large roundabout ahead, at about kilometer 16.7 on the Camino Sanabrés from Entrepeñas to Puebla de Sanabria.
It is only about 1/2 kilometer that you are required to walk along the N-525. You can see the signage at this large traffic circle, directing you to stay towards the left.
After the left hand turn at the large roundabout, you are greeted with signs for Puebla de Sanabria.
In another 1/2 kilometer, at about kilometer 17.4, come to a small roundabout, shown below, and keep straight on, toward the radio antenna that you see in the photo.
Pass by the Hotel and Restaurante Tierra de Lobos at kilometer 17.5. This is an interesting local place where Rich and I went the following day for a rainy day happy hour!
And after a big bend in the road, you see the castle looming on the hill above you, and you are essentially steps from the albergue. Pass the Hotel Casuca Sanabresa. Our friend Vim stayed here and felt it was quite adequate.
And just a few steps more, just before the bridge across the Tera River, the Albergue Casa Luz is on your left. This is where I turned off my GPS for the day.
The Casa Luz is the only albergue in town, it is private and is 12 Euros/person. You can stay for more than one night, as we chose to do.
The Casa Luz has very adequate kitchen facilities, and nice separate sex shower rooms. We were able to secure a room with 2 bunk beds, perfect for four. There are six rooms with four beds and one large room with 10 beds, for a total of 34 beds. They provide blankets and lockers for each bed, which is very nice.
There is a washer and dryer, and a nice outdoor courtyard for relaxing and eating. All-in-all a very enjoyable experience at the Casa Luz.
If you were to continue down the street toward the fortress hill, the Camino crosses the river at this bridge, just below the castle. The Camino turns to the right, and continues onward around the hill.
After we showered, rested and did our laundry, we crossed the river on the bridge, seen below, and took the pedestrian stairway up to the fortress hill top. It is a good climb!
The weather was clear and beautiful and as we reached the top, to the north the terrace wall appeared and the castle walls just beyond.
We had our large meal for the day at the Sidrería La Guaja, shown below which is also the Hotel Rural Guaja.
This wonderful place is at the top of the terrace with lovely views to the east, shown in the next photo. You can see the Albergue Casa Luz and it's courtyard if you look closely, just to the right of center.
After we walked around town a bit, we visited the Ermita de San Cayetano, shown below, but it was closed to the public. I was glad I shot a lot of photos of Puebla de Sanabria on this day, as our rest day, the following day turned out to be rainy and overcast.
To see more lovely photos of this town, click on Puebla de Sanabria.
By far the most economical accommodation in this tourist town is the private Albergue Casa Luz. However, there are some reasonably priced hostales as well.
There is the Hostal San Francisco, just steps off the small traffic circle, indicated above, as you enter town. There is the Hostal La Trucha, across the street from the albergue. The Hotel La Casuca Sanabresa, mentioned above is also across from the albergue and is economical.
The closer you get to the center of town, and the castle on the fortress hill, as you might expect, the pricier is the accommodation. You can always look at booking.com for the best deal, and to see other, more luxurious accommodations. There is even a Parador here.
You can check my interactive map above to see where all these accommodations are located. There is even a reasonably priced hotel across the river to the north, but still very conveniently located to the attractions, called the Hotel Los Perales.
I had no issues, no complaints and no difficulties on this lovely, short day to the tourist castle town. My body and soul were happy and light, as I do love a good historic, medieval town, full of wonders to explore. My imagination and love of history takes over me!
We also got to know our Camino compadres better than before as we all walked together for a large portion of the day. It was lovely to do so. It was one of my best walking Camino days, ever!
I do have to comment that if we had not been traveling in a foursome, we would have felt that seeing Puebla de Sanabria in the afternoon and evening would have been sufficient. Because our friend was still limping, we agreed that it would be best for a rest day, to hopefully tame her tendonitis in her right shin. She had been limping for four and a half days by this point, and I was becoming a bit worried.
Most of the next rest day was spent lounging around in the albergue or the cafés anyway, because of the rain. We did spend extra time at the castle which we saved for the rest day, because we knew we didn't have to rush. We also killed time shopping and eating lengthy meals. So, it was still pleasant indeed!
May your own day five on the Camino Sanabrés from Entrepeñas to Puebla de Sanabria be a day with your own metaphorical vision of your castle in the clouds. You will certainly be able to entertain that possibility if you hold a picture of the actual castle in Puebla de Sanabria in your heart and head! Ultreia!
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