Resthy’s place in Pandorado is a small complex. It has a bar/mesón, restaurant, and tourist apartments (with washing machines!). They are very familiar with peregrinos. Ender’s guide doesn’t list it, and that may be because they have been a bit uncooperative with accommodating pilgrims. When I stayed there in 2014, there were no others spending the night in their nice tourist apartments, and the price for me was a whopping 60€. The owner told me the price was the same for 1, 2, 3, or 4, and I was free to invite in some others. He and his wife were very nice, they just were not there to help pilgrims out. At that time, they also had a kind of taxi service. If the next day you walked to Fasgar or to any place before that, they would come pick you up and bring you back to Resthy’s. Cost was in the 20s€ I believe. But of course you would have to pay another fee to get taken the next day back to your starting point. That would make for 160€ for two nights plus taxi, not to mention food. That is no longer necessary, as there are places to stay now, but back in the day they had a kind of monopoly going on.
There is also a Gran Hotel Pandorado across the street from Resthy’s, so maybe that has made him offer more competitive prices. The hotel was not open when I walked through in 2019, and it doesn’t seem to have a website. Booking says it is not taking reservations.
Day 17. Pandorado to Fasgar (26 km)
If you have slept in Pandorado, your choices are either Vegarienza (8) or Fasgar (26). There is just nothing in between Vegarienza and Fasgar. The road up to Fasgar through the valley has lots of tiny little villages, all looking like great vacation spots, but no accommodations that I can find!
Leaving Pandorado, there is an initial descent along an untraveled road to the pretty town of Omañuela and its river. From there it is really a pretty walk, a very gradual ascent, lots of river walking. There is nothing in the spectacular range, but there are ancient bridges, a few bits of Roman Road, a couple of tiny towns. Not much in the way of places to eat or drink, unless you are walking when the pueblos have “reopened” for summer, so bring what you need. Even in summer, the bars are unlikely to open in morning or early afternoon. It is almost totally off-road, so the feet enjoy the surface and the mind enjoys the quiet.
About 8 km after Pandorado, you come to the tiny hamlet of Vegarienza. Estela is a woman who grew up in the village, worked in Madrid, then retired and came home to take care of her ailing brother. Her house is two doors down from the medical center, and she noticed that it had a top floor that was not being used. With the help of other Olvidado supporters, she was able to get the top floor converted into a very nice albergue. She has the keys, will check you in, and is a gem. Her love is directed at her village, not at the Camino, and she fervently hopes the albergue will help bring back some life.
If you like longer stages, La Magdalena to Vegarienza is about 30. I stayed here in 2019 and it was really very nice. The little restaurant on the road was open for lunch, so I had my main meal here. It was pretty astonishing to see an elderly woman and her daughter (and by elderly I mean over 90!) doing all the cooking, serving, and cleaning. The set-up gave you a front row seat to the action, because the kitchen is in the middle of the restaurant. The mother told me they had been trying to retire for years now, but can’t bring themselves to shut the place and leave the village and the surrounding area with nothing. Googlemaps tells me Restaurante Maxi is currently open for takeout, a good sign for post-pandemic walkers!
But back to the route to Fasgar. Shortly after leaving Vegarienza, you take a left turn off the LE-493. You are now on a small road that ends in Fasgar. The camino is mainly off road, but the road is never far away. It goes through several small villages, all along the river. Just so pretty. I had a cow encounter or two, and those who are leery could just stay on the road, because it is very very untraveled. The only advice I would definitely give is to make sure to take the camino path from Vegapujín into Fasgar, it is lovely and no cows!
On my first Olvidado, Rosi opened her home to me, thanks to Adolfo (from Nava de Ordunte). Rosi had recently moved back to her pueblo from Oviedo, where she was on the hamster wheel of living pay check to pay check with a young child and high child care costs. When I first met her, she was running the “social center” (municipally owned bar). But basically they were living “off the grid” — with their own garden plots, a few animals (with an annual pig slaughter), wood stove. At that time the year round population was about 8, and it was the 3rd birthday of Rosi’s daughter, which I was privileged to celebrate with them in the bar.
Fasgar, at the end of the road, is a beautiful little mountain village, which fills up in the summer. Winters are hard, no more than 10 full time residents, and Rosi told me of many weeks with no outside contact. During her first winter back, she counted the days with snow and then got discouraged and stopped counting. It must be beautiful, but almost inaccessible.
Fast forward a few years, there is now an albergue in the old school, a slightly fancy restaurant, and a Casa Rural, all run by Rosi. I would highly recommend a stop here, no matter where you stay the night before. The restaurant seemed wildly successful the last time I was there. In fact, checking today on their website, I see that the weekend is completely booked for the restaurant, and this is a Tuesday during a pandemic!<
If 26 km is too much for you, the only obvious options I see are to either take Resthy up on his taxi offer for part of the way, or break the stage up into 8 (to Vegarienza) and 18 (to Fasgar).
It is a lovely stage, ending in a really pretty little town with a river running through it. It is literally at the end of the road.