Day 16 GR1 Sos Dey Rey Catolico

Pathetic but true, I'm lying on my bed writing this blog when there are people outside my window, dressed up in medieval outfits, playing pipes and banging drums. I've arrived in Sos on the day they celebrate the thing for which the town is famous for, the birthplace of Fernando the Catholic on the 10th March in 1452 (I guess today is the nearest Saturday). It's been a tough 38 kilometre walk and to be honest I need to rest my feet - I'm just too knackered to go out and enjoy the fun.

Actually this is a very interesting place and a sensible person would stop here for a day and take it in. It's an old fortress town on top of a hill and much of the wall and all of the gates are still intact. The medieval street pattern inside the walls is still there as is the castle, with its watch tower, and Romanesque church, and a second watch tower centred on the Sada palace. It's all been carefully restored and must be packed out in the summer. Despite all the men in tights it was fairly quite when I wandered around trying to find the hotel.

Although Sos was the highlight the rest of the walk wasn't without interest. Unfortunately yesterday's sun had disappeared and it rained gently nearly all day. No views of Pyrenees today.

Abandoned church just outside Ujue
After wandering down the hill from Ujue the trail disappeared. The countryside is a mix of cultivated terraces and Mediterranean scrub. Abandoned farmsteads are everywhere and I guess originally the trail would have linked these farmsteads together. The farmsteads are no longer used and nor in places is the trail.
Gallipienzo Antiguo
At about 12.00 I reached Gallipienzo Antiguo. Another stunning hill-top town but one that hadn't been restored to the extent of either either Sos Del Rey Catholica or Ujue. In fact it looked like it used to be a lot bigger with the remains of buildings littering the hillside all the way down to the lovely bridge over the raging Rio Aragon.

The main church in Gallipienzo Antiguo
And yet another hill top town three kilometres further along the trail at Caseda. Stopped to buy a huge ham roll which I then ate on the move - too wet and drizzly to stop.


The final 18 kilometre stretch through farmland, which was set above the wide valley to the north but below the wooded hills to the south, was pleasant enough although the steady rain had left the trails very sticky. Odd bits of GR way-marking sent me off in the wrong direction a couple of times but I'm easily confused.
Ermita de San Zoilo
I first saw Sos Dey Rey Catolico at about 5 having started walking at about 8.30 and a very welcome sight it was too. I assumed Juan had booked me into a fabulous looking hotel at the eastern end of the town but that turned out to be the Parador. Everyone knew where my hotel was but following instructions in these maze like towns is very difficult - at least I got to explore the place. As it turns out the hotel is right in the middle next to the castle and church - much better located than the Parador. Well done Juan!

If you want to see where I walked please go to the link

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. John. So now you have a days rest in that medieval town of Sos del Rey Catolico with chances of having a glass of wine at the Parador and walking the narrow streets quietly. Keep the umbrella at hand.

  2. Hi John,

    As I noted before there is now a hotel in Gallipienzo Antiguo - in fact it opened last week (May 2016). The name is Heredad Berugu (+34 948 050 109) which we understand is a reference to being the principal house of the town combined with the name of a nearby mountain. In any case it is quite lux and Christine would happily agree I think that it complies with staying in the nicest place in town - in this case also the only place. By the way, my wife (Colleen) thinks Christine's rules are quite right.

    We also ventured off your GPS track today about 3 km from Gallipienzo Antiguo to skirt one of the climbs and found a lovely pond - quite the wild camping haven I would think. When back home I will upload to ViewRanger the alternate track.

    Regards, Nathan

    1. Thanks for the info - I think I'll keep Colleen's support for Christine's rules a secret.