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LIVE from the Camino A winters walk

Time of past OR future Camino
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
Hello to all!!
I’m out here walking the invierno. Usually I wait until I’m done walking to write but I’ll try to post as I walk this time. This is my second invierno I walked during Semana Santa in 2019, taking 9 days, never again for me!! Today I was all set to stay in Villavieja, I took the bus from A Coruña to Ponferrada this morning at 640, arriving around 9:15, I searched for a stamp, albergue was closed so a little backtracking to Hotel Castillo and I was ready to go around 1030.

I'm walking alone so I took my time....the walk is just as beautiful as I remember and I was looking forward to stopping in Villavieja a perfect distance for a first day but as you all know on camino we need to expect the unexpected. I had my code but that door was not going to open...I could see everything waiting for me....I called the emergency number and Christina was lovely but she really could not say that there would be a solution at any time on a Sunday....and I didn't want to walk in the dark so on I marched to las medulas, trying to reach any accommodation and no one was answering the phone, finally 3km before las medulas agoga answered and I'm here trying to warm up. Nice place, Fina has been great,not the cheapest but it was my only choice, usually I wait for this luxury further on but the hot shower was heaven and I know I will sleep like a baby. Even the 'big hotel' is closed....I was not going to walk to Puente de domingo Florez, been there done that in 2019!!

So now I will sleep and decide where to walk tomorrow, I have a reservation with Rosa in Puente de domingo Florez but 8-9km is very little.....we shall see. I'll keep you posted!!
Buen camino to all!!
MaryEllen
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Pictures please!! :D

You could reach Sobradelo tomorrow, to extend your walk. But you already know that. Walking a second time is nice, right? I like knowing what lies before me, it makes for easier planning.

What is the weather like?? There were floodings earlier this winter! :eek:
 
I have been sitting here thinking about where to walk...makes much more sense to go on to sobradelo but I will make sure they are open!! I was looking forward to staying at Casa Rosa but 8 km is just not enough..I've already been here in Las Medulas so I don't really want to walk around. The weather yesterday was lovely, blue sky's a plenty, chilly at the beginning and end but I like that, I even walked in a little snow coming down from Villavieja. The weather forecast looks good so far I shouldn't have rain until next week, but you never know in Galicia....
Time to walk!!
 
Be part of the Camino Cleanup team! Help us pick up litter from Ponferrada to Sarria.
Camino de invierno day 2
Las medulas a sobradelo
Today, unlike yesterday, went as planned. I woke up and decided 8 km was too little but 27 was to far so the middle chair won and I'm in Sobradelo at Bar Mar. Manuel is a wonderful host, I'm the only pilgrim today but he said he is seeing 3-4 a day!! Who knows maybe I will catch up to someone or more likely someone will catch up to me!! The walk was nice, cloudy sky's for the most part but a little sun throughout, the views were still nice. Other then in the towns I saw no one today, yesterday I saw many bikers, runners and walkers out for a beautiful Sunday. I don't mind being alone at all , I live with my husband who encourages me to walk (than you!!) and 3 of 4 adult children ( university) and 5 small dogs, the silence is very very welcome. Time to shower, I'll check in from A Rúa.
Buen camino,
MaryEllen

9F94DA92-E26A-4CA1-B9CA-1086CB17299F.jpegE34E41AF-97A0-473C-A9B3-43700DD95148.jpegF8D53496-1191-4FE6-966F-76D547AA159B.jpeg
 
Camino de invierno day 2
Las medulas a sobradelo
Today, unlike yesterday, went as planned. I woke up and decided 8 km was too little but 27 was to far so the middle chair won and I'm in Sobradelo at Bar Mar. Manuel is a wonderful host, I'm the only pilgrim today but he said he is seeing 3-4 a day!! Who knows maybe I will catch up to someone or more likely someone will catch up to me!! The walk was nice, cloudy sky's for the most part but a little sun throughout, the views were still nice. Other then in the towns I saw no one today, yesterday I saw many bikers, runners and walkers out for a beautiful Sunday. I don't mind being alone at all , I live with my husband who encourages me to walk (than you!!) and 3 of 4 adult children ( university) and 5 small dogs, the silence is very very welcome. Time to shower, I'll check in from A Rúa.
Buen camino,
MaryEllen View attachment 141466View attachment 141467View attachment 141468
Your photos are beautiful. I am quite in awe of you going for a second time
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Hello to all!!
I’m out here walking the invierno. Usually I wait until I’m done walking to write but I’ll try to post as I walk this time. This is my second invierno I walked during Semana Santa in 2019, taking 9 days, never again for me!! Today I was all set to stay in Villavieja, I took the bus from A Coruña to Ponferrada this morning at 640, arriving around 9:15, I searched for a stamp, albergue was closed so a little backtracking to Hotel Castillo and I was ready to go around 1030.

I'm walking alone so I took my time....the walk is just as beautiful as I remember and I was looking forward to stopping in Villavieja a perfect distance for a first day but as you all know on camino we need to expect the unexpected. I had my code but that door was not going to open...I could see everything waiting for me....I called the emergency number and Christina was lovely but she really could not say that there would be a solution at any time on a Sunday....and I didn't want to walk in the dark so on I marched to las medulas, trying to reach any accommodation and no one was answering the phone, finally 3km before las medulas agoga answered and I'm here trying to warm up. Nice place, Fina has been great,not the cheapest but it was my only choice, usually I wait for this luxury further on but the hot shower was heaven and I know I will sleep like a baby. Even the 'big hotel' is closed....I was not going to walk to Puente de domingo Florez, been there done that in 2019!!

So now I will sleep and decide where to walk tomorrow, I have a reservation with Rosa in Puente de domingo Florez but 8-9km is very little.....we shall see. I'll keep you posted!!
Buen camino to all!!
MaryEllen
Thank you for posting. We're going to be walking the Camino de Invierno at the end of March. I'm having problems getting answers to my emails regarding my booking at las medulas agoga. I asked a Spanish friend to ring today, to check if we do have reservations, but the 2 numbers we tried did not connect. I will try to email again. At least the name you mentioned- Fina, is the same name as the person we got one email from.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Thank you for posting. We're going to be walking the Camino de Invierno at the end of March. I'm having problems getting answers to my emails regarding my booking at las medulas agoga. I asked a Spanish friend to ring today, to check if we do have reservations, but the 2 numbers we tried did not connect. I will try to email again. At least the name you mentioned- Fina, is the same name as the person we got one email from.
Did you try sending a whatsapp to Fina at 34 699 72 24 88?

I have stayed there several times, and always got prompt responses from her at that number. In my experience, you may have better luck using WhatsApp to text than calling.
 
Random thoughts while walking
I wanted to thank all of you who are reading my posts, I feel a reintroduction is in order. I was somewhat active on this forum starting at the end of my first invierno in 2019 until I was forced to leave the trail in March of 2020 with the dreaded pandemic. After benefitting so much from this place especially the invierno guide I was compelled to share, my husband and I have agreed to keep a very low internet presence so it was difficult at first. After that if I could offer any unique help I was happy to post. After 2020, as we all did, I waited to get back out on camino but my health wasn't cooperating and I was forced to abandon more then one attempt...eventually I found it heart breaking to read about camino anywhere so I stopped reading the forum. As 2022 progressed with help from an amazing reumatologo my health improved. Our fellow forum member @Becky59 graciously let me tag along on her Camino Portuguese from Porto to Caminha last September, I only had a week free but after that I knew I would attempt another at some point and here I am. I hope I am able to help just one pilgrim with my sharing as so many of you have helped me. Today I'm feeling grateful.
Thank you!!
MaryEllen
 
Invierno day 3 Sobradelo -A Rúa
Hello all,
I'm just gonna jump in. Today 3 things happened in the first 2-3 km.First a little personal information. The older I get the more I realize that I don't fit into any box and the older I get the more I embrace this fact about myself. However I do believe one thing something that is absolutely true to me and that is this; for me all people animals plants trees, fungi bacteria, virus etcétera etcétera were born or grown on this planet we call earth and that means we are ALL connected, other then that, I know nothing. Back to the walk, first thing, I got off track I was walking along lost in thought and I turned and thought hmmm so I back tracked no more then 15 meters and sure enough I had missed an arrow. Second thing, again lost in my thoughts, looked up, I tend to spend time looking at the ground to protect my knees, and saw a sign reading 'on camino you never walk alone ' I walked on, third thing, I got off track again and again I though hmmmm something isn't right turned around and see the arrow a few meters behind me. I guess I could think that I must have known I was off but I have NO sense of direction. I chose to think that this it is what connects us all.
Today was a lovely day the views amazing, one after the other. In 2019 this etapa we spent in heavy rain so it was new to me and I enjoyed every minute. Between O barco and A Rúa it seems they are redesigning the walk, I will make a new post when I have time detailing what I experienced. But for sure choose the new way (to me since it has been 4 years) just before A Rúa to go up away from the road, it adds some distance but the views are stunning!! Now I am at O pillaban no food but the room is nice and the shower soothing, I can feel the Camino working it's magic....I will make a separate post with pictures. Again thanks for reading, I'll check in from Quiroga!!
Buen camino,
MaryEllen
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
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Dear moderater that edited yesterday, I would PM you but it was a? I have tried to use thumb nails but it seems now I have both and I don't want to try a fifth time please edit delete as you see fit!! Sorry I'm inept.....
Thanks,
MaryEllen

Note from the mods — you are not inept. When you click on the “insert” tab, just make sure to click thumbnail rather than full image. Great pics! And just so you know, we can enlarge them on our devices to catch them in their full glory!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Now I am at O pillaban no food but the room is nice and the shower soothing,
What? No food? What’s going on here! I have read this comment a couple of times, and I wonder if it’s just that forum members all have the same bad luck of arriving on rest days for the restaurant, or whether something else is going on.

My memory is that the mom was the one most in charge of the lodging and the cash register, while the son was the cook. I hope all is well in O Pillaban, because it’s a lovely place to stay (and eat, if you’re lucky?).

This is a great thread — not only for us Invierno addicts, but for all of those who have had a hard time with the way in which the pandemic has messed with our camino plans!
 
Did you try sending a whatsapp to Fina at 34 699 72 24 88?

I have stayed there several times, and always got prompt responses from her at that number. In my experience, you may have better luck using WhatsApp to text than calling.
Thank you. I've now received an email confirming our booking. However, I'll programme the number into WhatsApp in case we need to make contact on the day.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
What? No food? What’s going on here! I have read this comment a couple of times, and I wonder if it’s just that forum members all have the same bad luck of arriving on rest days for the restaurant, or whether something else is going on.

My memory is that the mom was the one most in charge of the lodging and the cash register, while the son was the cook. I hope all is well in O Pillaban, because it’s a lovely place to stay (and eat, if you’re lucky?).

This is a great thread — not only for us Invierno addicts, but for all of those who have had a hard time with the way in which the pandemic has messed with our camino plans!
I asked about food....she said no but told me where the super is so I can make a bocadillo for tomorrow. The truth is last night Manuel at Bar Mar made me a fresh huge tortilla..when he asked me how much I showed a 'slice' but he put half on my plate...then when he asked if I wanted more salad, kicking myself for saying yes, he brought me more then my first serving....delicious but I'm not too hungry....but he was great, 30€ for a bed and that big meal, and he washed and dried my clothes I'm a happy pilgrim!!
I think the daily posts are helping me to keep going!! I'm grateful to be on Camino.
MaryEllen
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Invierno day 4 A Rúa - Quiroga
I'm tired today, that is to be expected!! It was a beautiful walk, blue skies and fresh breezes, one would think it is spring. Today I was as I remembered from 2019,happy that it wasn't raining. Those ups and downs would be tough in the rain. I already decided yesterday that I wouldn't and more appropriately shouldn't try to walk to Monforte from Quiroga so have a reservation at Pensión Pacita for tomorrow. I think the toughest part of these stages is the lack of services, I happily took advantage of the pilgrim benches I found along the way but I never seem to stop more then 5 minutes....again I've haven't seen any pilgrims, a few locals enjoying the sun.....I'll take today just as it was presented to me. Now I need to find the energy to go to the store, I've eaten all my stash...I am enjoying a earl grey brewed with my electric coil, maybe the caffeine will give me a boost!! I'll check in from Pensión Pacita.
Buen camino,
MaryEllen

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Invierno day 4 A Rúa - Quiroga
I'm tired today, that is to be expected!! It was a beautiful walk, blue skies and fresh breezes, one would think it is spring. Today I was as I remembered from 2019,happy that it wasn't raining. Those ups and downs would be tough in the rain. I already decided yesterday that I wouldn't and more appropriately shouldn't try to walk to Monforte from Quiroga so have a reservation at Pensión Pacita for tomorrow. I think the toughest part of these stages is the lack of services, I happily took advantage of the pilgrim benches I found along the way but I never seem to stop more then 5 minutes....again I've haven't seen any pilgrims, a few locals enjoying the sun.....I'll take today just as it was presented to me. Now I need to find the energy to go to the store, I've eaten all my stash...I am enjoying a earl grey brewed with my electric coil, maybe the caffeine will give me a boost!! I'll check in from Pensión Pacita.
Buen camino,
MaryEllen

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Wonderful! Really enjoying your posts. Buen Camino!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I don't know if you have any interest in archaeology, @Betterisgood, but I just found a very interesting trove of information about an archaeological site, coming up after Pobra de Brollon; info in this post:
Following a link, I found this - super interesting, because it's about a stone circle right on the Invierno, not far from Monforte,
 
I don't know if you have any interest in archaeology, @Betterisgood, but I just found a very interesting trove of information about an archaeological site, coming up after Pobra de Brollon; info in this post:
Hi,
Thanks, I'll take a look, I just got to Pensión Pacita, nice short day so I have time and energy!!
MaryEllen
 
Invierno day 5 Quiroga - labrada de Lor
Today was nice, all alone with my thoughts. I couldn't ask for better weather but it was a day of smiles and tears. The devestation from the fires is immense, much of the walk today was unrecognizable from 2019, I was on top of a baren mountain, where I remember a forrest walk. Today I just can't help think that unless we as humans pull together and think of the whole and not our individual selves what I saw today will spread everywhere and faster then we can imagine. But even with the changes I could see life trying to come through again. It was a impressionable day on camino for me. I'll check in from Monforte. As always thanks for reading.
MaryEllen
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€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
The older I get the more I realize that I don't fit into any box and the older I get the more I embrace this fact about myself. However I do believe one thing something that is absolutely true to me and that is this; for me all people animals plants trees, fungi bacteria, virus etcétera etcétera were born or grown on this planet we call earth and that means we are ALL connected, other then that, I know nothing.
Older means more limitations but engenders new and creative ways for everything and and standing still while walking and being truly aware of all creation is also for me an ongoing realization. In my 20’s I knew nearly everything and now I know, I know nothing. I so resonate with what you’re experiencing.
day of smiles and tears. The devestation from the fires is immense, much of the walk today was unrecognizable from 2019, I was on top of a baren mountain, where I remember a forrest walk. Today I just can't help think that unless we as humans pull together and think of the whole and not our individual selves what I saw today will spread everywhere and faster then we can imagine. But even with the changes I could see life trying to come through again.
So sad to walk through this devastation, I too cried in November 2022 when the embers were still smoldering and marveled at new life with lichens and wildflowers pushing through. The fact that it was arson was heart rendering.

Now that you have joined the coil club
The club is accepting new members if anyone is interested.
we will be celebrating our tenth year anniversary this year, so maybe we should be offering special deals for new members.
I would like to propose the Invierno club. I love this Camino so much that I have been thinking of walking part or all of it yearly.

MaryEllen thank you so much for taking the time to take us on your Invierno🥶!🤗😍
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Invierno day 6 Labrada de Lor- Monforte
Today was straight forward and much as a remember from 2019. I have been so fortunate with the weather, today was just gorgeous. I arrived in Monforte just in time to happen upon a parade of school children and their teachers with police escort all dressed for carnaval!! What a treat, I imagine this is the first big celebration since 2020, we were still in masks last year....the kids looked happy. I took care of my laundry and now am relaxing in my room at pensión Miño. I'll let my pictures do the talking I'm feeling quiet today. Tomorrow Chantada!!
Buen camino,
MaryEllen
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Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
really enjoying your journey @Betterisgood and your photos are a lovely reminder of my own Invierno journey last Sept. It is up on the top of my favourite caminos. Take care up that "slope" into Chantada!
Hi,
For me down is always harder then up....knees, but it is daunting that while on the way down you know you have to go back up!!
Pics from 2019
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A selection of Camino Jewellery
Invierno day 7 Monforte - Chantada
Wow....I forgot how difficult this stage was, these 4 years I have only remembered how beautiful, a little like childbirth (sorry guys)I am beat,holed up at the pension Yoel which has been renovated and is lovely. María was sooo nice, she brought me water and helped me get a pizza when I was 6 min to late to order this afternoon she even offered to go pick it up for me!!
My husband texted me after I called to let him know I was in Chantada and asked me 'has it been worth it' ‘absolutely’ ‘no’ both came to mind quickly. That is the challenge. Since I live in A Coruña, I’m always close to a rescue, this is good and bad!! Today was tough but soooo beautiful I already feel the camino magic taking away the memory of screaming ankles as I slid down to Belesar on 5–10 inch thick leaves, couldn’t see the rocks, the memory it just floats away replaced with the awe of the day. I’ll let the pictures talk. Thanks for reading,tomorrow Rodeiro.
Buen camino,
MaryEllen
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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Your last posted picture in post 37, I think, is from the spot soon after the ascent begins after crossing the bridge on the Miño. That lovely mill with the stone crossing, how beautiful. Beautiful shadows and stripes of sun. A little bright spot of blue caught my eye, and I zoomed in — I think it might be a discarded mask!

Good to hear about the renovation of the Pensión Yoel. I have always stayed in the Hotel Mogay, but was never thrilled with it.
 
Lovely pictures. Belesar looks pristine in winter...! Yoel renovated - yes they told me they were working on it last year, so I couldn't stay there. I have to go see how it looks now. Does the renovation come with a higher cost? How much is Yoel now?
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
So did you have to take the road almost all the way up?
Whaddaya think, Laurie? Living dangerously and using sticks, I went over the rocks. “There are no atheists climbing stones over raging streams.”Here’s a pic of my considerably younger Peregrina friend doing the crossing. The mill is slightly visible.
You may appreciate that she also stopped to befriend every pup on this Camino. This was subtitled El Camino de los perros feroces del Invierno.
 

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Awesome pics!
Just joined this forum due to a last minute plan and choose the Camino Invierno after seeing your posts @Betterisgood
Have plans to fly from Brazil - Madrid next Tuesday (Feb-21) and get started from Quiroga on Feb24 (i know, it sounds odd).
Now i'm off to a sports/trekking store to get a footwear and get used to it.
Rob's youtube channel are a must to help getting prepared.
Suggestions are welcomed to a last minute plan.
Keep it going @Betterisgood
Buen camino
 
Whaddaya think, Laurie? Living dangerously and using sticks, I went over the rocks. “There are no atheists climbing stones over raging streams.”Here’s a pic of my considerably younger Peregrina friend doing the crossing. The mill is slightly visible.
You may appreciate that she also stopped to befriend every pup on this Camino. This was subtitled El Camino de los perros feroces del Invierno.
I saw those two cuties!!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Awesome pics!
Just joined this forum due to a last minute plan and choose the Camino Invierno after seeing your posts @Betterisgood
Have plans to fly from Brazil - Madrid next Tuesday (Feb-21) and get started from Quiroga on Feb24 (i know, it sounds odd).
Now i'm off to a sports/trekking store to get a footwear and get used to it.
Rob's youtube channel are a must to help getting prepared.
Suggestions are welcomed to a last minute plan.
Keep it going @Betterisgood
Buen camino
Trailrunners I wear Hoka good luck!!
 
Thank you for posting. We're going to be walking the Camino de Invierno at the end of March. I'm having problems getting answers to my emails regarding my booking at las medulas agoga. I asked a Spanish friend to ring today, to check if we do have reservations, but the 2 numbers we tried did not connect. I will try to email again. At least the name you mentioned- Fina, is the same name as the person we got one email from.
Hi Gail
We are also walking the Invierno at the beginning of April - had no replies form e mails, so as someone else suggested on this forum, I tried Whatsapp and then I actually got a reply! So have managed to make some reservations in advance. Buen Camino
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Lovely pictures. Belesar looks pristine in winter...! Yoel renovated - yes they told me they were working on it last year, so I couldn't stay there. I have to go see how it looks now. Does the renovation come with a higher cost? How much is Yoel now?
22 for a room with a bath, 15 peregrino. I went for my own bathroom. The renovation is nice (I haven’t been here before) not an expensive one but the room is bright and very clean!!
 
I remember staying in the A Posa de Asma Albergue in Chantada. It was a great albergue once you could get in! Like a few more places, I found that I had to download an app to get an access code to get into the place. Got to say, that is not my ideal way of getting in anywhere. In the end I had to phone the manager/owner and she even had trouble with the "app". Just give me a key anyday! But I did like Chantada very much especially after the climb up to it!
Hope you rest up tonight @Betterisgood
 
Update
I managed to get out after listening to the sounds of parades and singing. No nap for me. I’m glad I did, It is so nice to see people in the street celebrating. I couldn’t help but think that this is the first Carnaval for many. All ages were dancing with the music. Lots of’police’ costumes, princesses of course and jovenes stocking up at the Gadis for a night of fun. What a treat.
Vive entroido!!
FBE5DD03-F7E5-453A-82A7-4155A61FDFB4.jpeg061F9FCC-81B2-4008-B834-33937F5B18B9.jpegD5D2E720-E8F6-434D-BB7F-6E8F47B77415.jpeg
 
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Hi Gail
We are also walking the Invierno at the beginning of April - had no replies form e mails, so as someone else suggested on this forum, I tried Whatsapp and then I actually got a reply! So have managed to make some reservations in advance. Buen Camino
Buen Camino!👣
 
How fun, to get the last weekend of Carnival season before Lent starts next week! Last chance for the Spaniards to party hearty before the somber Lenten weeks.
 
I remember staying in the A Posa de Asma Albergue in Chantada. It was a great albergue once you could get in! Like a few more places, I found that I had to download an app to get an access code to get into the place. Got to say, that is not my ideal way of getting in anywhere. In the end I had to phone the manager/owner and she even had trouble with the "app". Just give me a key anyday! But I did like Chantada very much especially after the climb up to it!
Hope you rest up tonight @Betterisgood
Which app did you have to download?
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
I found that I had to download an app to get an access code to get into the place.

It is interesting to see different experiences for the same place.
I have stayed at A Pousa Do Asma Chantada twice, November of 21 when they were newly open and November 22. Both times I contacted the owner & Hospitalera Maika by WhatsApp +34 621 288 174 to reserve, she answers promptly. On arrival, she provided a code for opening the door, that changes daily and she is also able to let you in remotely if you have trouble getting in.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
Invierno day 8 Chantada- Rodeiro
Here I am at Carpinterías an albergue just for me. However the owner said a German left this morning, two pilgrims yesterday
and another phoned for tomorrow. We are a long choo choo train of pilgrims. Today started out super foggy, I was thinking about trying the other way around, in 2019 we had pea soup fog all the way up couldn't see in front of ourselves. But the fog burned off after a nice stop with Liliana in Penasillas. Having a place to stop really makes a difference. The walk up was nice and this time I went to the top I luckily had read the app last night so I saw the stairs that really look like they are to nowhere, a nice soft grassy walk up through the crosses. This entire area was completely buried in the fog my last trip. I also took the time to walk to the lookout tower. The views were nice, most down below was still fogged in so I couldn't see all of Galicia, I guess a third invierno is in my future!! Last trip the walk down to Rodeiro was the low point of my Camino 'why am I doing this!!!!' You all know the thoughts. But not today, it still felt long but I enjoyed the day. A group of teenagers on horses came bounding up the mountain on my way down I later ran into them at the bar O Returno 2km out of Rodeiro. They must have gone down another way. 3 stamps today!! So now I let my feet recover to walk again. It is amazing every morning that are good to go, but I know they will be screaming at the end no matter how far the last 2km.....but this exhaustion is part of why I walk, I crave it!! Tomorrow a little past Lalin.....
Buen camino,
MaryEllen
F16B9EDC-513B-4F05-974C-B5EAB6E936E1.jpegC431E634-3061-4130-A1FC-00EF2588C4D5.jpeg973F79B8-FC3D-49FE-9305-5F0E2049EA2E.jpeg9F605C84-F0F1-478D-9CF5-D371682AE0DE.jpegCB779E3F-80AA-4CE1-A195-D8770A0414DC.jpeg5CD094D3-EC66-4B2F-9A15-24997867535C.jpegCAAF173E-DD9A-4C98-B71D-16C311F0C6F6.jpeg11BA2D0B-F6E1-4847-8D48-C641FD3D872A.jpeg5DB27B12-F640-4E03-8A93-9371E698775C.jpeg733E8BBD-9AF1-4309-9FB5-76D34D4AA354.jpeg
 
Mary Ellen, I can't say how much I'm enjoying your posts!
'has it been worth it' ‘absolutely’ ‘no’ both came to mind quickly.
Haha. The camino paradox.

I slid down to Belesar on 5–10 inch thick leaves, couldn’t see the rocks,
Eeek! Hope there are no lingering ill effects!
But then what is music without a bit of dissonance?

stayed in the Hotel Mogay, but was never thrilled with it.
Ditto.
 
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Mary Ellen, I can't say how much I'm enjoying your posts!

Haha. The camino paradox.


Eeek! Hope there are no lingering ill effects!
But then what is musin without diligence
I was kidding!! I stayed on my feet but I was doing a jig all the way down!!
 
Be part of the Camino Cleanup team! Help us pick up litter from Ponferrada to Sarria.
However the owner said a German left this morning, two pilgrims yesterday
and another phoned for tomorrow.
This is truly a sea change. Even two years ago, these numbers would have been unheard of in summertime, much less winter! I am glad for the people who have taken the risk to start businesses on the Invierno for pilgrims, and I am glad that some of the camino wealth will be spread around to parts of Galicia that have not partaken of the golden goose yet. After so many years wondering when it would ever take off, it looks like we’re seeing it right now.

Buen camino to all those on the Invierno choo choo train!
 
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Invierno day 8 Chantada- Rodeiro
Here I am at Carpinterías an albergue just for me. However the owner said a German left this morning, two pilgrims yesterday
and another phoned for tomorrow. We are a long choo choo train of pilgrims. Today started out super foggy, I was thinking about trying the other way around, in 2019 we had pea soup fog all the way up couldn't see in front of ourselves. But the fog burned off after a nice stop with Liliana in Penasillas. Having a place to stop really makes a difference. The walk up was nice and this time I went to the top I luckily had read the app last night so I saw the stairs that really look like they are to nowhere, a nice soft grassy walk up through the crosses. This entire area was completely buried in the fog my last trip. I also took the time to walk to the lookout tower. The views were nice, most down below was still fogged in so I couldn't see all of Galicia, I guess a third invierno is in my future!! Last trip the walk down to Rodeiro was the low point of my Camino 'why am I doing this!!!!' You all know the thoughts. But not today, it still felt long but I enjoyed the day. A group of teenagers on horses came bounding up the mountain on my way down I later ran into them at the bar O Returno 2km out of Rodeiro. They must have gone down another way. 3 stamps today!! So now I let my feet recover to walk again. It is amazing every morning that are good to go, but I know they will be screaming at the end no matter how far the last 2km.....but this exhaustion is part of why I walk, I crave it!! Tomorrow a little past Lalin.....
Buen camino,
MaryEllen
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Really liked the Carpinterías on Rodeiro. Remember though coming into town and then having to walk up the hill to the place. The Albergue was the best choice and I had a meal with 4 other peregrinos that night with a shared bounty of food we bought in the shop. In all I met 6 others on my trip. At one point it started to feel a bit crowded lol !!
 
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
This is truly a sea change. Even two years ago, these numbers would have been unheard of in summertime, much less winter! I am glad for the people who have taken the risk to start businesses on the Invierno for pilgrims, and I am glad that some of the camino wealth will be spread around to parts of Galicia that have not partaken of the golden goose yet. After so many years wondering when it would ever take off, it looks like we’re seeing it right now.

Buen camino to all those on the Invierno choo choo train!
I'll be getting on board this choo choo early May! I am full of anticipation = thanks to this thread!
 
Invierno day 9 Rodeiro - O Espiño
Here I am a few kms past lalin the 'end' of the invierno, tomorrow I will join the sanabres and imagine will finally see a few pilgrims.....maybe. Today was a new walk for me, in 2019 after many days without any services the few we might have been able to enjoy were closed (semana santa) my son and I gladly walked the road to Lalin stopping at every bar a tomar algo. I have to admit it was tempting to repeat this time not so much for the services but to save the few (at least 6) kms, I have a foot that is struggling. Since I enjoyed two stops yesterday and the rain stayed away I had no excuse and turned right off the road onto the Camino. It was beautiful and serene, I'm very glad I walked that way however ( let the discussion begin) I live in Galicia and the walk was not unlike most walks I take with my friends who live outside of Coruña (I'm a city mouse) plus after the last few days it just isn't as stunning, so when I do my third invierno there is a good chance I will choose café over cow pies. I find both options valid but definitely in the rain take the road. We haven't had rain in almost a month (due tomorrow) and I was still hopping the stones through mud. It was a happy day, I had two big coffees when I got to lalin and then walked the 3.5km here. Now to rest, 32km tomorrow....let's see is my foot cooperates!!
Buen camino,
MaryEllen

AE4E5227-3D41-4230-86EE-AF8F31003D6E.jpegE271395C-C26B-4961-89A7-3570D1BACE89.jpegD76F69A0-18B0-4C46-94FA-2EF7A1F14CDC.jpeg685AC787-1830-49A9-89BD-9EAB64B252C6.jpegFBB24F61-6B9A-40D0-BD17-17B361088CD1.jpeg4E1F0A69-ECFA-43E3-8B66-987983D9A90E.jpegC2B01C53-25EC-4DEE-8FD8-0BA00D5998D0.jpegF74F11CC-0630-4873-8D6F-014E66AB7412.jpegC630689D-C38C-4117-B739-13CF6AACFA3E.jpegFC7AEF40-6A06-4173-B5AA-92C2CE7CB3F4.jpeg
 
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at least 6) kms, I have a foot that is struggling
Oh no! Hope you can somehow make it better tonight!
32km tomorrow....
Oh no! Can’t you possibly break it in half? Especialmente con el problema de tu pie.I love savoring the end of the Invierno, the thrill of seeing el Pico Sacro and having it looming over your right. Stay with Carmiña and Bruno in Deseiro, they’ll make your foot all better. Cuídate mucho, MaryEllen.
 
Invierno day 10 Espiño- A Ponte Ulla

Today was a day of wonder for me. If you have been along for this ride of mine you have read of my one truth that we are all connected. So today I fell and I fell hard. Of course it wasn't in a forrest or slipping on a rock hopping a stream...it was on the sidewalk of the polígono 1km into my day. By chance someone had just pulled up in their car on a festivo at 7am, she helped me get to my feet and told me she was a peregrina having done the Camino last summer and that she understood me, I'm sure she would have driven me anywhere but knew I wanted to walk and my legs were fine, I went down like a weeble shouldn't (remember that toy? Weebles wobble but they don't fall down) she said there should be a bar at the end of the poligano and she let me go.

I then walked for 12kms to silleda nothing was open but as the forrest cleared the Camino enters Silleda right at the centro de saude. I really had no idea what I looked like but I knew I was bleeding from my face and hand. As I was contemplating if I should go in or not another woman appeared, these are the first two people I saw today. I asked her if the center was open she said yes and that I needed to go and get cleaned up if not there then she would take me to her house!! So I went and the nurse cleaned me up, I was a stitch away from needing stitches on my nose, I have a black eye, my right hand is kinda gross, and my left chest hurts but everything works nothing broken. The Dr told me I will feel worse tomorrow as the fall catches up with me. I asked if it was OK to continue and she said no problem.

As I left I thought about what to do and there was Lucía the woman who told me to see the Dr, she had waited for me, she and her husband are local artisans working in glass and ceramic, she wanted to give me a shell charm she had made....she then took me home and fed me. Lucia and her husband showed me their workshop, incredible, my husband and I are musicians so we understood eachother, of all the people to meet.

I decided to walk and start the day as If from 0, a new day with a new friend, and I made it the 20km to Ponte Ulla with out any trouble. I'm sore and I look like hell but I'm happy and amazed at the people in this world. I may have fallen but I met Lucía, I can't have one with out the other so I'll take it. 20ish kms tomorrow....I'm ready, I have not seen one other pilgrim, and now I feel like finishing like I started....though I will be there to help anyone in need, just as I have been helped. What a day......

If you made it this far thank you, each and everyone of you have been with me each and every step.
Buen camino,
MaryEllen

690D3015-C072-4016-901B-AD73511673B6.jpeg778A69C4-CE24-4E8E-B180-0B5999AD5D20.jpeg133DA51E-B9A8-4447-A06C-35D0C072C6BA.jpegD5E73A52-7228-4B89-A94C-EAD590A89701.jpegEF659D26-6313-4979-8BEA-34570554B622.jpegAB6163FE-0214-4203-A327-0E479823572E.jpegD5160346-7539-412C-AC4A-46E358FF2065.jpeg3879513B-8689-4705-9BB1-3FD6FB614C29.jpeg54F43469-8C1F-456B-95A8-4931FA32877B.jpeg
 
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Oh no! Hope you can somehow make it better tonight!

Oh no! Can’t you possibly break it in half? Especialmente con el problema de tu pie.I love savoring the end of the Invierno, the thrill of seeing el Pico Sacro and having it looming over your right. Stay with Carmiña and Bruno in Deseiro, they’ll make your foot all better. Cuídate mucho, MaryEllen.


Thank you to all who shared concern about my foot, as I was thinking about maybe walking in my crocs I realized they didn't hurt because they were loose, I tied my shoes on the loose side and had no trouble at all. With how the day went...I was lucky!!
 
As I left I thought about what to do and there was Lucía the woman who told me to see the Dr, she had waited for me, she and her husband are local artisans working in glass and ceramic, she wanted to give me a shell charm she had made....she then took me home and fed me. Lucia and her husband showed me their workshop, incredible, my husband and I are musicians so we understood eachother, of all the people to meet.
So sorry for your fall. Great good and good people coming out of this bad accident. May you continue this friendship with this artist couple. So glad that you were cared for so well . Unbelievable that you managed to take pictures. MaryEllen Buen Camino all the way to Santiago.
 
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Invierno day 10 Espiño- A Ponte Ulla
Today was a day of wonder for me. If you have been along for this ride of mine you have read of my one truth that we are all connected. So today I fell and I fell hard. Of course it wasn't in a forrest or slipping on a rock hopping a stream...it was on the sidewalk of the polígono 1km into my day. By chance someone had just pulled up in their car on a festivo at 7am, she helped me get to my feet and told me she was a peregrina having done the Camino last summer and that she understood me, I'm sure she would have driven me anywhere but knew I wanted to walk and my legs were fine, I went down like a weeble shouldn't (remember that toy? Weebles wobble but they don't fall down) she said there should be a bar at the end of the poligano and she let me go. I then walked for 12kms to silleda nothing was open but as the forrest cleared the Camino enters Silleda right at the centro de saude. I really had no idea what I looked like but I knew I was bleeding from my face and hand. As I was contemplating if I should go in or not another woman appeared, these are the first two people I saw today. I asked her if the center was open she said yes and that I needed to go and get cleaned up if not there then she would take me to her house!! So I went and the nurse cleaned me up, I was a stitch away from needing stitches on my nose, I have a black eye, my right hand is kinda gross, and my left chest hurts but everything works nothing broken. The Dr told me I will feel worse tomorrow as the fall catches up with me. I asked if it was OK to continue and she said no problem. As I left I thought about what to do and there was Lucía the woman who told me to see the Dr, she had waited for me, she and her husband are local artisans working in glass and ceramic, she wanted to give me a shell charm she had made....she then took me home and fed me. Lucia and her husband showed me their workshop, incredible, my husband and I are musicians so we understood eachother, of all the people to meet.
I decided to walk and start the day as If from 0, a new day with a new friend, and I made it the 20km to Ponte Ulla with out any trouble. I'm sore and I look like hell but I'm happy and amazed at the people in this world. I may have fallen but I met Lucía, I can't have one with out the other so I'll take it. 20ish kms tomorrow....I'm ready, I have not seen one other pilgrim, and now I feel like finishing like I started....though I will be there to help anyone in need, just as I have been helped. What a day......
If you made it this far thank you, each and everyone of you have been with me each and every step.
Buen camino,
MaryEllen

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Hope you are not too sore tomorrow. The Camino does indeed provide. Glad you were helped by your Camino Angels.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
Invierno day 10 Espiño- A Ponte Ulla
Today was a day of wonder for me. If you have been along for this ride of mine you have read of my one truth that we are all connected. So today I fell and I fell hard. Of course it wasn't in a forrest or slipping on a rock hopping a stream...it was on the sidewalk of the polígono 1km into my day. By chance someone had just pulled up in their car on a festivo at 7am, she helped me get to my feet and told me she was a peregrina having done the Camino last summer and that she understood me, I'm sure she would have driven me anywhere but knew I wanted to walk and my legs were fine, I went down like a weeble shouldn't (remember that toy? Weebles wobble but they don't fall down) she said there should be a bar at the end of the poligano and she let me go. I then walked for 12kms to silleda nothing was open but as the forrest cleared the Camino enters Silleda right at the centro de saude. I really had no idea what I looked like but I knew I was bleeding from my face and hand. As I was contemplating if I should go in or not another woman appeared, these are the first two people I saw today. I asked her if the center was open she said yes and that I needed to go and get cleaned up if not there then she would take me to her house!! So I went and the nurse cleaned me up, I was a stitch away from needing stitches on my nose, I have a black eye, my right hand is kinda gross, and my left chest hurts but everything works nothing broken. The Dr told me I will feel worse tomorrow as the fall catches up with me. I asked if it was OK to continue and she said no problem. As I left I thought about what to do and there was Lucía the woman who told me to see the Dr, she had waited for me, she and her husband are local artisans working in glass and ceramic, she wanted to give me a shell charm she had made....she then took me home and fed me. Lucia and her husband showed me their workshop, incredible, my husband and I are musicians so we understood eachother, of all the people to meet.
I decided to walk and start the day as If from 0, a new day with a new friend, and I made it the 20km to Ponte Ulla with out any trouble. I'm sore and I look like hell but I'm happy and amazed at the people in this world. I may have fallen but I met Lucía, I can't have one with out the other so I'll take it. 20ish kms tomorrow....I'm ready, I have not seen one other pilgrim, and now I feel like finishing like I started....though I will be there to help anyone in need, just as I have been helped. What a day......
If you made it this far thank you, each and everyone of you have been with me each and every step.
Buen camino,
MaryEllen

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Your fifth picture with the water flowing must be from Transfontao (?). Was it difficult to get through in the water/slippery stones?? I have only walked in summer, when that part is soggy, hot and often full of mosquitos! I always thougth it must be difficult to cross in winter/spring if water levels rise.
 
What? No food? What’s going on here! I have read this comment a couple of times, and I wonder if it’s just that forum members all have the same bad luck of arriving on rest days for the restaurant, or whether something else is going on.

My memory is that the mom was the one most in charge of the lodging and the cash register, while the son was the cook. I hope all is well in O Pillaban, because it’s a lovely place to stay (and eat, if you’re lucky?).

This is a great thread — not only for us Invierno addicts, but for all of those who have had a hard time with the way in which the pandemic has messed with our camino plans!
I've only just come across this fantastic thread!

A few things about O Pillabán:

the bar closes one day per week, and I seem to recall that it's Monday.

Juan (the owner and cook) is a night owl. He generally turns up around 8 in the evening to cook, but you won't get him to answer your calls or messages before that! There's a number on the bar door to phone Teresa, who'll walk down to let you into the hostal.

the food is excellent. A 'must' is Juan's delicious crema de calabaza, but he serves some spectacular meat dishes!

the rooms are beautiful, and the pilgrim price is very good.

don't get involved in a drinking session with Juan! I have ended up three or four times staggering up to my room well after midnight, after a wine-tasting! The last time I was there, we were joined by the local taxi driver, José Luís (Ciri), who was due to take me to Montefurado the following morning (I'd walked from A Rúa to Montefurado in the afternoon), and it coincided with the 'vendimia' (wine harvest). I lost count of the different wines Juan came out with! Anyway, José Luís was there on time for me the following morning!
 
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Invierno day 11 A Ponte Ulla - Santiago
I made it!! Today was just what I'd hoped for, a gentle walk to Santiago. Rain loomed the whole morning but never amounted to much so I can't complain, weather was on my side my entire camino. I made a stop at Reina Lupa and low and behold my first pilgrims!! And who other then @Karin309 and Sarah!! We had a nice time chatting. I also got to meet Bruno and Carmen from the albergue, a very special couple. 10km to go!! I stopped to put on my poncho and ran into Karin and Sarah again about 3km before the cathedral. What a special day, as usual the arrows disappeared as they do in Santiago and I walked in a few circles until I got to the plaza, and there was my son waiting for me ( we usually walk together) what a nice surprise. ( My husband had told me...) then off to get my certificate, no line and now they print them off right there!! Soooo fast. This walk I made for my very best and oldest friend (from age 10) who is battling a blood cancer, we spoke every morning before I left and every evening when I was done she truly was with me the entire way. My son and I went to eat at an Italian restaurant and filled eachother in on the last 11 days. Amazing how much is the same and different.
So I guess that is it...the ending, so abrupt. But the journey of a lifetime. I will try and make a summary of my trip with distances and places I stayed but now the fall and the 263kms are catching up with me. Shower and bed. What a ride...
Buen camino,
MaryEllen

38EB63DE-FAD2-4606-BBCF-A92601B6A5D7.jpegB82C5AFE-1D86-4F4B-BB66-B6C6E98FEEEF.jpeg661573B5-6175-46A2-BA12-A387518AD614.jpegC482EF28-A584-4CDA-B4A6-C0E861F209B9.jpeg849DD413-82DF-4F81-8F95-454BFDDF57A3.jpeg2A80F9FC-202F-4DD2-A4FE-3D43B58EDB75.jpeg5C683E47-0D1B-4B32-BC0C-D38FA50C4362.jpegDEB0932D-0383-4FAD-854C-187F30F6C8BA.jpeg31269EE1-43ED-4282-9B70-5C027099D484.jpeg
 
Invierno day 11 A Ponte Ulla - Santiago
I made it!! Today was just what I'd hoped for, a gentle walk to Santiago. Rain loomed the whole morning but never amounted to much so I can't complain, weather was on my side my entire camino. I made a stop at Reina Lupa and low and behold my first pilgrims!! And who other then @Karin309 and Sarah!! We had a nice time chatting. I also got to meet Bruno and Carmen from the albergue, a very special couple. 10km to go!! I stopped to put on my poncho and ran into Karin and Sarah again about 3km before the cathedral. What a special day, as usual the arrows disappeared as they do in Santiago and I walked in a few circles until I got to the plaza, and there was my son waiting for me ( we usually walk together) what a nice surprise. ( My husband had told me...) then off to get my certificate, no line and now they print them off right there!! Soooo fast. This walk I made for my very best and oldest friend (from age 10) who is battling a blood cancer, we spoke every morning before I left and every evening when I was done she truly was with me the entire way. My son and I went to eat at an Italian restaurant and filled eachother in on the last 11 days. Amazing how much is the same and different.
So I guess that is it...the ending, so abrupt. But the journey of a lifetime. I will try and make a summary of my trip with distances and places I stayed but now the fall and the 263kms are catching up with me. Shower and bed. What a ride...
Buen camino,
MaryEllen

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Congratulations! Please do the summary of your journey.

I have followed Karin as well on the Vìa de la Plata (here on the Forum - not on the ground!) How nice that you both met in Reina Lupa. The owner(s) of Reina Lupa are so cool and always friendly, I think...!

Have a nice rest in Santiago!
 
Congratulations and sorry you fell but you got to met Lucia and her husband. That was so kind of them too. Sharing your journey was very much appreciated. I enjoyed all your pictures and journey. Buen Camino!

Rest in Santiago!!
 
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Your fifth picture with the water flowing must be from Transfontao (?). Was it difficult to get through in the water/slippery stones?? I have only walked in summer, when that part is soggy, hot and often full of mosquitos! I always thougth it must be difficult to cross in winter/spring if water levels rise.
Yes!! I had to look it up with the time stamp. This place must flood easy, we haven't had rain for a month well now today, and it was very wet. I was lucky overall just amazing weather but I still got to use my poncho justifying dragging it along!!
 
Congratulations and sorry you fell but you got to met Lucia and her husband. That was so kind of them too. Sharing your journey was very much appreciated. I enjoyed all your pictures and journey. Buen Camino!

Rest in Santiago!!
Thanks!! I'm back home in A Coruña after a30 min train ride!! And still we walk!!
 
This was such a nice ending — I have been reading both your and @Karin309’s frequent posts, and could imagine the two lines inching towards a convergence in Santiago. How great that it really happened.

I have to say, @Betterisgood, that apart from a little darkening around the right eye, you look no worse for wear!

Thank you so much for sharing your camino with the forum. It has been a lot of fun!

Buen camino, Laurie
 
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Yes, echo everyone's message, well well done! You were very brave after your fall to keep going. Your photos have been fantastic and I am very grateful for reading your journey and then remembering part of my own on the beautiful Invierno last September
Rest up now back at home but I am sure your feet will still be going forward!
Buena suerte!
 
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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
Distance 28.69
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
Distance 20.34km
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€
+34988040248
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
Distance 27.23kms
Accommodation Hostal Quiper 24€
+34982428451
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
Distance 15.73kms
Accommodation Pensión Pacita 20€
+34982430008
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
Distance 21.78kms
Accommodation Pensión Miño 20€
+34982401850
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
Distance 30.86kms
Accommodation Pensión Yoel 22€ en suite
+34982440294
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
Distance 27.82
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)
Distance 27.38
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
Distance 33.19
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
Distance 22.87kms
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.

Pack:
Purple shirt
Pink shirt
Black shorts
Black 3/4 pants
Black hiking pants
Black shirt
Black leggings
3 panties
3 wool socks
1 Cotton sock
Crocs
Kimono
Pack towel
Poncho
Puffy coat
Down Blanket
Green sleep sack
Buff
Cooling bandana
Head lamp
Gloves

Miscellaneous :
Coil
Tea
Cutlery
To go cup
Litter bottle
.6 litter bottle
String back pack
Paper pen

Toiletries :
Deodorant
Toothpaste
Shampoo
Soap
Vaseline
Chub rub
Brush
Sunscreen
Charger and cords

Fanny pack
Wallet
Phone
Battery
Tissues
Credential
Funnel
Hand sanitizer
First aid

Weight 6.8kilos
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!!

Signing out!!!

MaryEllen

PS moderators
If you think it is better to make a new thread or move this to the top have at it.
 
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Thank you so much for your comprehensive report. it has been such a joy following you and I am in total awe of you.
 
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Invierno day 11 A Ponte Ulla - Santiago
I made it!! Today was just what I'd hoped for, a gentle walk to Santiago. Rain loomed the whole morning but never amounted to much so I can't complain, weather was on my side my entire camino. I made a stop at Reina Lupa and low and behold my first pilgrims!! And who other then @Karin309 and Sarah!! We had a nice time chatting. I also got to meet Bruno and Carmen from the albergue, a very special couple. 10km to go!! I stopped to put on my poncho and ran into Karin and Sarah again about 3km before the cathedral. What a special day, as usual the arrows disappeared as they do in Santiago and I walked in a few circles until I got to the plaza, and there was my son waiting for me ( we usually walk together) what a nice surprise. ( My husband had told me...) then off to get my certificate, no line and now they print them off right there!! Soooo fast. This walk I made for my very best and oldest friend (from age 10) who is battling a blood cancer, we spoke every morning before I left and every evening when I was done she truly was with me the entire way. My son and I went to eat at an Italian restaurant and filled eachother in on the last 11 days. Amazing how much is the same and different.
So I guess that is it...the ending, so abrupt. But the journey of a lifetime. I will try and make a summary of my trip with distances and places I stayed but now the fall and the 263kms are catching up with me. Shower and bed. What a ride...
Buen camino,
MaryEllen

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Congratulations on completing your Camino. I've really enjoyed following along. I now have some information to help when I begin my Camino in 4 weeks' time.
 
You have loads of information here on the forum to help you. Enjoy this wonderful camino. I love it so much that I've walked it around a dozen times!
 
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I recommend that all first timers walk through Villavieja, it is absolutely stunning on a clear day and a beautiful start to the invierno.
I could not agree more. I understand that people walk with different intentions and different time pressures, but this is really a stage to be savored.
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.
Good advice, because I have read about a few peregrinos who walked all the way up to the and then missed the turnoff to the Ermita and the views. When you see the large crosses (I believe it’s for Catholics who want to pray the Stations of the Cross), turn up and left and you will get there. Easy to get back to the camino, but it seems that there is better marking needed at the turnoff. It’s a pity, because the high point is only a few hundred meters from the camino!

The coil is the best thing EVER!! I used it every single day morning and night. Love it!!

❤️💙💜💛 I know some don’t like it, but I would never walk an untraveled camino without it!

This is such a helpful post, Mary Ellen. It sounds like you are likely to go back again, and if you do, and if you have the time, I would highly recommend doing the loop to the lookouts over the iconic horsehoe in the Miño River. This can easily be done by staying either at Torre Vilariño or the new Diomondi albergue. It is really a beautiful little circle, romanesque church to top it off as well. And you would also probably like visiting the castro (with another good lookout over the river) and the museum, both of which are a stone’s throw from Torre Vilariño.

Thanks for this great contribution to the Invierno fan club.
 

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