Resuming our Camino Levante Pilgrimage. Last August with temperatures soaring to 111F/44C we decided to stop in Toledo and bus to Ponferrada and continue to Santiago. It was my 15th Camino and first time ending before Santiago. Though I know many that do their Caminos in stages, so Mika and I vowed to return and finish.
Returning to Spain via Madrid on a cool but pleasant February morning, we took the short 30 minute train to Toledo to continue on once more to Santiago. It is interesting to be here in the old capitol city (until 1561) of Spain. With the Alcazar Fortress atop the city it offers magnificent views from beyond the Tagus River. Surprisingly the almond trees are beginning to blossom in beautiful white, pink, and violet colors.
Toledo was also the home of El Greco ‘The Greek’ and there was an interesting museum with his paintings. However the Cathedral was the highlight for me which was as grand as any in Spain.
After a day of tourist activities we will resume our pilgrimage to Santiago and Muxia.
Sometimes Levante is called the Camino of Solitude. One of the least known and possibly the least walked Camino with less than 300 pilgrims walking it annually. We had heard about it from a few fellow Camino Junkies; JohnnyWalker Santiago, and Wim, our Dutch friend from Dublin.
It begins in Valencia on the Mediterranean coast to Santiago de Compostela. 1200 kilometers taking pilgrims through 5 regions; Valencia, Castilla La-Mancha, Madrid, Castilla y Leon, and Galicia. In addition, we pass through cities such as Albacete, Toledo, Avila and Zamora. In Zamora it intersects with Camino Via de la Plata and 2 days later connects in Granja de Moreruela to the Camino Sanabres which then takes us to Santiago.
Back in July, 2021, Mika and I started Levante in San Juan del Hospital, the oldest (Romanesque) church in Valencia built 1238. After Mass we were given our Credentials (stampbook) and received a blessing from the priest for our 1200K Camino de Santiago. Beautiful in its simplicity.
Confirming there are not many pilgrims on this route, the priest had a bit of trouble finding their stash of credentials. Also they took our photo after the blessing and got our background information. Optionally, one can start farther south in Alicante where it is called Camino Sureste (southeast). They intersect early on after a few days and we have had a hard time differentiating the two.
So today on a pleasant February morning we carry on for the remaining 700+ kilometers to the Cathedral.
From the blog globalpilgrim.net for more info on other Caminos. For all my posts on Camino Levante: