Invierno February 2023
I will now try to summarize my camino hoping to remember details of a more factual nature. My daily log was more personal. I will also include memories of my invierno in 2019. I tracked my walk with the iPhone app 'Map my walk' I'm happy to share if I can figure out how.... Distances will be from that app. I stuck to the Camino almost 100% the exception was within a'city' to get to my accommodation.
Day 1 Ponferrada to As Medulas
Accmodation Complejo Rural Agoga
+ 34987422844 €50 included breakfast
It was a great place to stay, but I wouldn't have chosen it due to the price for 1, but noone in As Medulas would answer the phone (Sunday) as I walked from Villavieja. Fina was super helpful. The room very nice and the shower perfect. Highly recommended if in your budget.
2019 we walked to Puente de Domingo Florez and stayed in Hostal La Torre II +34987460081.
I took the bus from A Coruña and the walk to the albergue (it was closed) was just under 3km. I was glad I had a credencial already, if you need one get to the albergue before 8-9am I got there around 945 and it was closed up, in 2019 they were open when we got there for a stamp it must have been around 9am. I went back to the 'Hotel El castillo' to get a stamp I didn't think to ask if they offered credentials.
The walk was the same as 2019. The only tricky place is at the beginning before you cross the bridge there is a sign pointing back to the albergue and to the Camino that keeps you on the city side of the river but you need to cross the entire bridge. The invierno is on the other side of the river as you leave town.
The rest was well marked. I was meant to stay in Villavieja but as you know the code didn't work and it was a Sunday. My advice is to start on a weekday if you want to stay there.
In 2019 we walked through to Puente de Domingo Florez I would only walk this far again if I skipped the walk up and down to Villavieja. At Agoga Fina's husband (I can't remember his name...) told me the Camino didn't originally go up there, that the crossing should be to Borrenes.
This is a tough day, stopping at Villavieja would be perfect when you travel in and start walking the same day like I did. If you start fresh in the morning As Medulas wouldn't seem as tough. I recommend that all first timers walk through Villavieja, it is absolutely stunning on a clear day and a beautiful start to the invierno.
Day 2 As Medulas to Sobradelo
Accommodation Alojamiento Bar Mar 30€ including dinner (or lunch) breakfast and laundry. +34988335106
I was meant to stop in Puente de domingo Florez and stay at Albergue Casa Rosa my communication by email and phone was easy and you walk right by the albergue on the Camino and it is indeed Rosa!! But 9km was just too little so I carried on after letting her know I wouldn't be staying.
As fellow forum members have said Manuel at Bar Mar is a true camino angel. The room was simple but safe and with a heater warm. For €30 he also fed me and washed and dried my clothes. I don't think he sleeps. He also will transfer backpacks along the invierno. I had his number and as a solo walker it was a nice sequrity blanket to know he knew I was walking and would come to my aid.
The walk was again the same as before and well marked which means you can enjoy the views which are plenty!!
Day 3 Sobradelo to A Rua 21.87km
Accommodation Hostal O Pillabán 25€
This was a great place to stay, when I asked about food she said no, but I'm pretty sure the restaurant opened later that evening....too late for me but she didn't tell me it would open later and I didn't ask.
2019 we stayed at Casa Rural Pacio do Sil a beautiful place and which is still the most comfortable bed I can remember on any Camino. However, it is out of town so I probably wouldn't stay there again. We were two in 2019 so the price worked out, for one a little expensive in my opinion.
This walk I remember a little differently. In O Barco in 2019 we followed arrows carefully and ended up walking out through the town. This time I was armed with my wise pilgrims app but the arrows still clearly want to send you away from the river and out through the town. I carried on by the river and finally ran into the end which with a pillar saying 'alternativo' pointing to the town. There is a map with the walk along the river so I headed that way, this way is listed as official on the map but after that you don't have many indications but there is only one way. I'm a literal person and that is why I had trouble with this. The walk out through the town was well marked in 2019, much more so then the walk by the river. I imagine many end up going that way. As you get close to A Rúa they are working on getting the Camino off the road to at the very least a nicely paved (red loose fine gravel) walkway along the side of the road. They were working as I walked it will be interesting to see what the final result is. In two places I had to choose between two pillars,both times I chose the 'alternativo' the first took me down to the river on this new nice red gravel. The second took me up and away from the road to wonderful views. Both choices had pillars and maps indicating the options. I don't think I added more then a km to the day I recommend them highly.
Day 4 A Rúa to Quiroga
Accommodation Hostal Quiper 24€
Right on the Camino I enjoyed my stay here. Simple but ok bed and nice shower right in town, what more do you need?
2019 we stayed at the Dimar but if has closed, I confirmed with Manuel at Bar Mar.
The walk is just the same, beautiful beautiful!! Well marked, but as everyone has said there are NO services maybe in the summer at the river in Soldon. I have only walked in February and April so I can't confirm. The beauty makes up for the lack of services and Quiroga has everything you need when you get there.
Day 5 Quiroga to A Labrada
Accommodation Pensión Pacita 20€
This was a perfect place to stop it made the walk seem easy especially considering we walked through to Monforte in 2019. José and José Luís couldn't have been nicer. I only wanted to eat a salad but they would have fixed an entire cena for me had I wanted them to.
The walk was well marked the only difference of course was the devestation from the fires in the summer of 2022. This made it seem 'new' reminded me more of the Sanabres on the way to Laxa then my memory of this walk on the inverno in 2019, my son made the same comment when I sent him pictures.
Day 6 A Labrada to Monforte
Accommodation Pensión Miño 20€
This is unfortunately the only place that in the end I can't recommend. The people are lovely, the price is good the location great...but the room smelled of smoke and since I encountered 2 ashtrays was not a surprise.
2019 we stayed at the Hostal Medievo
+34617987588 I liked this place, again with two the price works out and why I didn't return solo this year.
A well marked walk, I stopped in Pobra for a coffee, the bar couldn't give me a stamp I had to go to the ayuntamiento which was right there but out of hours or on weekends it could be a problem. I remember getting a stamp in 2019 at the first bar in town however that was the most unpleasant waitress I have ever encountered so I purposely skipped them this year.
Day 7 Monforte to Chantada
Accommodation Pensión Yoel 22€ en suite
After such a difficult day I was welcomed home by Maria at Pensión Yoel. As I wrote before they have remodeled though I didn't see it before. I will absolutely stay here again.
2019 we stayed at Hotel Mogay +34982440847. I also enjoyed this place the price for two made it affordable. I have to tip to the Yoel for the personal touch (almost half the price as well) I truly was at home there.
This walk is the jewel of the inverno ( in a pool of jewels) well marked but again no services. This is the stage I will split up the next time I walk. I want to enjoy it more. Both times I have walked I have been blessed with wonderful weather. I would not want to walk down to Belesar in the rain....
Day 8 Chantada to Rodeiro
Accommodation Albergue-Hostal Carpinteiras 12€. +34986790196.
Really the only place in town I stayed there in 2019 though in the 'hostal'. The only drawback is the trek up to the albergue at the end of the day!! Marisa keeps the albergue so clean you could eat off the floor!! I will continue to stay here if new accommodation becomes available even with the trek.
Great walk and I was lucky on a Sunday that the bar O Peto in Penasillas was just opening when I walked through. I highly recommend timing to stop here before the climb to Faro.It made all the difference for me this year, in 2019 this day was the toughest for me. I also recommend walking to the Alto if it is a clear day, don't miss the steps to walk up on grass through the crosses. How nice a camino would be if all on grass!! I also stopped at O Recanto a couple kms before Rodeiro. Again marked well.
Day 9 Rodeiro to Espiño (3.5kms past Lalin)
Accommodation Hotel Naval do Espiño 30€+34986787064
I chose to walk past Lalin to make the next day a little shorter. I didn't eat here but the restaurant smelled good.
2019 we stayed at Hostal Caracas +34680176205. I can recommend both for sure.
This is the day you can choose the way with a serene walk through the countryside or the road with some services. I've done both and they both are recommended by me. Well marked easy day compared to the days before.
Day 10 Espiño (Lalin) - A Ponte Ulla
Accommodation Albergue-Pensión O Cruceiro da Ulla 15€. +34981512099 make sure to call during business hours which change with the season.
I stayed here both times and recommend it 15€ for your own room with bath and TV...
This is for sure a long day but neither time I did it was it difficult. The downhill walk into Ulla is the only remarkable point. Well marked, services when you need them, a nice day.
Day 11 A Ponte Ulla to Santiago
No accommodation train home to A Coruña
I think this is a perfect walk to finish with, not difficult but enough climb to get your heart going, and long enough for the anticipation of the end, a day to savor.
I recommend the 100ish extra meters to stop at Restaurante Rosende (Albergue Reina Lupa) 10 km from santiago. Lovely people. I always seem to get turned around in Santiago but anyway you go you will eventually get to the cathedral.
Closing thoughts :
As you can read I mainly stayed in hostals, my first two albergue reservations going away by happenstance. When it was less then €5 to stay in my own room with a bath I chose this on purpose. I prefer to be on my own and not bother others. Though this time it wouldn't have mattered since I didn't see anyone!!
I always felt safe on my own but I am fluent in Spanish and admit this helps.
For those that want solitude this is a perfect walk in the winter. If you want to meet pilgrims not so much. But everyone that lived along the way was lovely without exception.
Black 3/4 pants
Black hiking pants
3 wool socks
1 Cotton sock
Green sleep sack
To go cup
.6 litter bottle
String back pack
Charger and cords
I walked in hoka tor and use pacer poles
Next time I would bring 2 3/4 pants and skip the shorts and long pants for this time of year and for me, I run hot. I would not bring two water canteens but in the summer I would. I didn't use the cooling bandana, chub rub or Vaseline but would always bring them, everything else I used!! The coil is the best thing EVER!! I used it every single day morning and night. Love it!!
If you think it is better to make a new thread or move this to the top have at it.