Onwards we go to the next letter in the ‘Towns Along The Way’ series….which is G. There are 3 towns; one in Castilla y Leon, another in La Rioja and the last in Galicia. Again, please comment if you have stayed in any of these towns. For more in this series, check out my Archive.
Roughly 8 days into your Camino, you will meet Grañón. It is situated between Santo Domingo de la Calzada and Belorado in the La Rioja province of northern Spain. It has a population of just over 300 people. On entering the village, it seems like it doesn’t have much to offer but one of it’s highlights is Iglesia de San Juan Bautista. The church offers beds (well..mattresses) to pilgrims, and you can sleep in it’s belltower and look at the stars if you wish (gronze.com). I have passed through Grañón on 2 occasions. In 2013, I passed through in minutes as the weather was poor; however in May 2015, I stopped for over an hour for a few cervezas. My end point for the day was the next town and I still wish that I had stopped in Grañón rather than moving on. So if you are passing through, my advise is stop here and stay in San Juan Bautista.
El Ganso (map)
Calling El Ganso a village is a stretch as it consists with a number of derelict buildings, a cowboy bar and is home to 36 people. Nevertheless, the Way passes through it and I will mention it. El Ganso is Spanish for “The Goose” and is based in Castilla y Leon. On reaching this town, you will notice that the terrain is ascending and you will begin to gradually start to climb until you reach the highest point in Spain – the Cruz de Ferro. As mentioned above, the Cowboy Bar is one of the oddities of the Camino. I stopped by in May 2015 for second breakfast and was treated very well by the owner. There is an albergue here and know of people who have stayed here (gronze.com). It is advisable to pit-stop either here of at the town previous (Santa Catalina) as you have a nice climb ahead of you from there on.
Gonzar is one of many small hamlets in Galicia. It is 8 kms from Portmarin and you have approximately 90km to walk before reaching Santiago. I have little memory of this town since walking through Galicia in 2011. Some pilgrims choose to stay here instead of the usually busy Portomarin (gronze.com).
My next post in this series will focus on Honto, Hornillos del Camino, Hontanas, Hospital de Órbigo, Hospital da Condesa, Hospital da Cruz and Las Herrerías. See you then!