Coast to Coast

Senda del Duero 2

Peñafiel – Quintanilla de Onésimo

17 May 2019 GR14 STAGE 12

Click here for the map of our Senda del Duero part 2.

We took a taxi to from Peñafiel to Pesquera de Duero as we had walked this bit in 2017 (click here) and also to shorten a 31 km stage.

So we did 24.4 km in 5½ hours of comfortable walking, taking advantage of traditional paths of the fishermen. The day was chilly, dull and overcast (not good for photos) but it’s the nicest section of the GR14 passing through jungle along the River to more open spaces, the Duero always in view.

We started by crossing the Duero at Pesquera de Duero on the wavey bridge
¿Qué? The path is closed by a landslide? Luckily we found a way around it
The route follows the Duero using traditional fishermen’s paths
If only you could hear the birds singing
12th-18th century San Bernardo Monastery at Valbuena de Duero now a luxury 5 star hotel
The ducks are where the River is calmer
Olivares de Duero with its 14th century church is a few kilometers off the route
We followed these marks across the bridge into Quintanilla de Onésimo
Church of San Millan at Quintanilla de Onésimo
The Duero Canal starts here at Quintanilla de Onésimo and runs 52 km to Valladolid
Built in the 1880’s to provide drinking water for Valladolid, we will follow it for the next 2 days
The heart of Ribera del Duero wine region

Quintanilla de Onésimo – Tudela de Duero

18 May 2019 GR14 STAGE 13

To shorten another long walk we took a bus to Sardón de Duero leaving 16.8 km for 3 hours 35 minutes to Tudela de Duero. The first half was beside the Duero Canal built in the 1880’s to supply fresh drinking water to Valladolid; the second half along the Duero River again. In 8 km the canal drops 10 meters giving the water a speed of about 2-3 kph and a gentle down slope for us.

Church of Sardón de Duero where we started walking

It was lovely walking along the Canal. Here are a couple of photos.

There has been a huge investment in building and maintaining the Senda del Duero eg these steps and bike ramp
The Asparagus of Tudela de Duero is part of the local gastronomy and sold from these small shops
The Asparagus Festival starts on the 1st June this yeat – just missed it!

Tudela de Duero – Laguna de Duero

19 May 2019 via DUERO CANAL

The next stage of the Senda del Duero finishes at a place with no accommodation so instead we walked along the Duero Canal to Langa de Duero. A wonderful day’s walking; 14.4 km, 3½ hours.

Scenes on the Canal
There’s a bridge across the Canal every few hundred meters
A fisherman tries his luck in the Canal
Laguna’s 16th century Church of Our Lady of the Assumption built over an ealier 12th century temple
Far from the sea we had the best seafood paella with lobster, muscles and prawns

Laguna de Duero – Simancas

20 May 2019 via CAMINO DEL ABROJO

From Laguna to Simancas we decided to go via the Pinar de Antequera forest using the Camino del Abrojo which translates as “Thistle Path”. There are no thistles but over 1,000 hectares of pine trees first noted in the 10th century and protected since. Easy going on a sandy track for 11 km in 2 hours 25 minutes.

Simancas rises on the right bank of the Pisuerga River which flows into the Duero. The fairy tale castle was built in the 15th century over an Arab fortress, became a prison and is now the National Archives keeping all the documentation produced by the Spanish monarchy from 1475 until 1834. We approached the town across the 17 arch Roman-medieval bridge still used, pedestrians only.

The pines of Pinar de Antequera forest
A deer in the forest watches us walk by
13th century 17 arch medieval bridge across the Pisuerga at Simancas on the site of the old Roman bridge
The Camino Madrid crosses the medieval bridge and goes on through Simancas
A pretty bird sitting on the bridge
Simancas reflected in the Pisuerga River
16th century El Salvador Church rises out of the town
In the 16th century, El Salvador Hospital took in “the poor, strangers and orphans”
Simancas Castle, rebuilt 15th century over an Arab fort now the National Archives

Simancas – Tordesillas

21 May 2019 GR14 STAGE 15

Again this stage was a bit too long for us so we decided to catch a bus to the next village to shorten it. Jumped on the bus and then found it wasn’t stopping anywhere before Tordesillas in spite of the online schedule!

Instead we made a circular walk from Tordesillas to San Miguel del Pino on the Senda del Duero and back along the Canal de Tordesillas for a total of 19.9 km, 4½ hours. It turned out to be “better” in a way – we were walking into the sun and seeing the Duero in a different light.

Pointed arcs of the Tordesillas bridge indicate its medieval origin
Walking on the Senda del Duero away from Tordesillas
Looking back at Tordesillas
Today was wildflower day
We walked out to San Miguel del Pino where the 12th century Church of has its bell tower in the middle
Stopped for a chat with a woman crocheting a kitchen curtain while her husband fishes in the River
Tordesillas main plaza has two-story houses with stores below, a good spot for lunch
Entrance to the Monastery of Santa Clara built in 1340 on an Arab palace
Mater Dei Hospital founded in 1467 now in ruins and covered with vines but the bell tower survives
Wooden statues of Saints in various states of preservation
The old Pilgrims Hospital founded 1499 rehabilitated as a Day Center for the Third Age
Church of San Antolín de Tordesillas, built between the 16th and 17th centuries
Houses of the Treaty of Tordesillas
Here in 1494, 2 years after Colombus’s first voyage, Spain and Portugal shared out the still unkown New World
Tordesillas, the town that split the world