Coast to Coast

Senda del Duero 1

San Esteban de Gormaz – Langa de Duero

12 May 2019 GR14 STAGE 08

We joined the Senda del Duero between El Burgo de Osma and San Esteban de Gormaz. Now we continue walking along the GR14 Senda del Duero. Click here for the map.

What a difference today. Leaving San Esteban de Gormaz there were no waymarks so we followed the “official” GPS track which turned out to be an unmarked faint path closely following the Duero. Slightly suspicious but in the absence of any alternative we continued. After about 7 km we met a local farmer who told us the Senda was cut and we needed to go to the road which we did. Sure enough, it was cut and as far as we could tell if indeed the path existed (doubtful) it would have been cut in many places. So… 3 hours of very unpleasant marching along the busy N-122 main road and we arrived at Langa de Duero. 21 kms in 5 hours.

El Cid (1043 – 1099) was mayor of Langa de Duero during one if his exiles.

Church at Velilla de San Esteban has side facing bells
A rare break in the traffic on the N-122
Langa de Duero Tower, part of a 14th century castle built over earlier fortification
Parochial Church, 16th century with a later reconstruction of the 17th century
House in Langa de Duero
Langa is a one stork, two chick town

Langa de Duero to La Vid

12 May 2019 GR14 STAGE 09

Today’s walk was a very pleasant 11.1 kms in 2 hours 40 minutes mostly closely following the Duero River.

The Tower of Langa guarded the medieval bridge across the Duero
The Duero was the frontier between Muslim and Christian lands
A man watering his family garden at the edge of town
“Fairy Chimneys” caused by torrents of water over millions of years – didn’t spot any goblins or gnomes though
It was a great day’s walking along the Senda del Duero

Another WOW moment; turned a corner and suddenly the Monastery of Santa María of la Vid
Today an Augustinian monastery, it was founded in the 12th century. The current building is from 16-18th centuries
Another surprise – we got the Roman Room at Hotel El Lagar De Isilla
And there was more! Lechazo lechal (baby lamb only fed on milk roasted in a wood fired oven)
The Renaissance bridge over the Duero River at La Vid

La Vid – Aranda del Duero

13 May 2019 GR14 STAGE 09

A cold start but a warm day. A lovely stretch by the River then through fields of wheat. 22 kms, 5 hours.

In the 1960s building dams and reservoirs flooded many Castilian villages
It’s so nice beside the Duero that walking is easy
15th century Church of Our Lady of the Assumption at Vadociodes, halfway to Aranda
The Renaissance Rollo de Justicia indicating the royal, council or monastic ruler of the village
The route runs through the fertile plain of the Douro River with isolated farm houses
The path of the Duero follows the right bank of the river to Aranda del Duero
Construction of the underground cellars started in the 13th century to house large quantities of wine
There are still 120 cellars covering 7 kms below the old Aranda
Skin wine “bottles” were often made of the complete hides of animals
Here, men carrying wine emerge from an underground cellar
The Church of Santa María la Real was built between the 15th century and the 16th century
A beautiful Gothic portal decorated by intricately detailed holy martyrs and Biblical stories

Aranda del Duero – Roa

14 May 2019 GR14 STAGE 10

We had walked to Castrillo de la Vega, about 7-8 kms from Aranda and one of the prettiest sections of the Duero previously in 2017 and this inspired us to return to futher explore the Duero (click here). This time we took a bus to Castrillo and started walking. Another cold morning, 3°C but it soon warmed up for perfect walking conditions. Today we didn’t see the Duero until we arrived at Roa, walking through farms and vines, 19.2 kms 4 hours 25 minutes.

Roa is located on a hill overlooking the Douro River and dominating the landscape. It is the old Rauda on a Roman road that went from Clunia to Astorga.

Castrillo de la Vega has an extensive network of underground cellars of several centuries old
Inside an old bodega
Couldn’t resist the smell of fresh bread – these loaves are ready for delivery
The baker also makes tiny breads to give to the children and she gave us one each as we are “big children”
A chapel in the fields
The 15th century tower of Hoyales de Roa is visible for miles
Todays stork photo – at Berlangas de Roa
From here comes the wine of Ribera del Duero (Banks of the Duero ) – stoney ground first planted by the Romans
The bridge across the Duero has been repaired many times since it was built in the 15th century
Church of San Esteban of rustic construction with medieval defensive tower, built 1612
16th century Church of Santa María de Roa from the window of Apartment Casa de Mi Abuela
Converted to 3 beautiful apartments, it really is the “House of My Grandmother” of the owner who was born there

Roa – Peñafiel

15&16 May 2019 GR14 STAGE 11

From Roa to Peñafiel is about 28 km. We can’t, or don’t want to, walk that far anymore so we bussed to San Martin de Rubiales and then walked the remaining 18.6 km to Peñafiel in 4 hours 15 minutes. The first half was across open fields of wheat and grapes, the second half closely following the Duero River.

Peñafiel was a defensive frontier in the 10th century and its walls and castle built in the 14th century. There is still a Medieval network of narrow streets in the historic center. When we were here in 2017 everything was closed, only 2 bars open but this time the town was active and lively. Here is the blog and photos from 2017. We had a day off in Peñafiel this time too.

We set off from San Martin de Rubiales about 7:30 in cold crisp air …
… past the town bodegas (around 1600 years old), still in use
The construction of the warehouses was carried out in idle times and are jointly owned by neighbors
Easy walking in the shade along the Duero
Cliffs of the Duero reflected
Peñafiel Castle is still 5km away
Old mill on the River
A small stream runs through Peñafiel
Plaxa del Coso, Peñafiel’s main plaza – dirt floor and still used for bull fights
The town is full of deep excavated caves traditionally used to store wine
These caves have chimney vents to evacuate the gases generated by the fermentation of the grapes
Gothic-Mudejar arches on the 13-14th century Convent of San Pablo