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From Zaragoza to Santiago
Santo Toribio de Liebana
The Castellano-Aragonese is one of the least known and most difficult of the ways to Santiago, leading from Saragossa west through the Borgias’ old stomping ground; through to the university and cathedral cities of Tarazona and Soria; up into the tough hilly country of Monacayo; up to Santo Domingo de Silos and thence to Burgos; and finally to Santiago de Compostela itself.

It was a solitary trek: in three weeks, I only met two other pilgrims, both older Norwegian women celebrating sixty years of friendship with a long walk to Santiago. I tramped through parched countryside in one of the driest years in recent history, and on one of the most dangerous stretches of Camino I have ever seen – but also into verdant mountain glens, wonderful cathedral towns, and quiet little pueblos. The innkeeper in Abejar, when I asked her why so few pilgrims came through, said simply that it was muy duro – very difficult – and I could not argue!

Rough Trip

But the people were warm and friendly. One businessman left his office to walk me to my bed and breakfast. A group of teenagers interrupted their snogging to make sure that I was not lost. Restauranteurs ensured that I would have a complimentary brandy to help strengthen me for the next day. Somehow the brutal history of the area seemed to have no impact on the courtly and gentle hospitality of the people.
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The Mystery Pilgrim
One of our most seasoned reporters makes the Camino pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Read here.
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