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When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears

Accommodation Availability on the Invierno (September & October 2021)

pitztop

Solvitur ambulando
Past OR future Camino
2019
I plan to start walking the Invierno from Ponferrada on 29 September. I have both the Brierley guide and the Wise Pilgrim app, which provide accommodation information along the route; however, I am concerned that accommodation availability may have suffered substantially since the COVID era started and finding a place to eat and sleep may be hard to find in certain places. Does anyone who has walked the Invierno lately know what the accommodation situation along the Invierno is now? Any recent first-hand information you may have would be greatly appreciated.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well, here is one more resource for you. Our very own forum guide. It was a joint effort forum labor of love for many years, and was last updated in 2019. But now that I think of it, most or all of the information has been turned over to the Wise Pilgrim app, which is carrying on the tradition of crowd-sourced information. So you should feel free (in fact, I’m sure @wisepilgrim would urge you) to add your comments to the app as you walk.

NadineK just got home a few weeks ago, and thought she was unable to walk the whole route and got ill, she has some good updates here.

I think you will be fine, based on what Nadine reports, but I would probably all ahead a day or two in advance just to make sure.

Buen camino, let us know how it goes!
 

pitztop

Solvitur ambulando
Past OR future Camino
2019
Well, here is one more resource for you. Our very own forum guide. It was a joint effort forum labor of love for many years, and was last updated in 2019. But now that I think of it, most or all of the information has been turned over to the Wise Pilgrim app, which is carrying on the tradition of crowd-sourced information. So you should feel free (in fact, I’m sure @wisepilgrim would urge you) to add your comments to the app as you walk.

NadineK just got home a few weeks ago, and thought she was unable to walk the whole route and got ill, she has some good updates here.

I think you will be fine, based on what Nadine reports, but I would probably all ahead a day or two in advance just to make sure.

Buen camino, let us know how it goes!
Thank you so much peregrina2000. I was so sorry to read of NadineK's food poisoning, but delighted to read about the joys she encountered during her adventure on Invierno. I'll try to keep the forum posted as I go and will certainly comment about the accommodation on the Wise Pilgrim app.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Here of course is another resource that does keep open/closed albergues up to date:
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I think Gronze is great, and they do list openings and closures as soon as they are advised about them. For instance, they list that the albergue in Pobra de Brollón is closed. But I have read that both Casa Socorro in Médulas and Casa Pacita outside Barxa do Lor are closed temporarily because of covid, and the site doesn’t show that. This is not a criticism of Gronze, because they rely on people to notify them. Just to say that I think it’s important to make actual contact even if Gronze doesn’t show it closed.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Ingeborg,
A warm welcome to the forum. There is a big group of Invierno fans here on the forum, and we would love to hear from you. Feel free to start your own thread for all of your live reports, you can be sure you will get a lot of responses and expressions like — oh how I wish I was there!!!!!

I hope this is a wonderful camino for you, Laurie
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I just walked from Ponferrada on Invierno and reached Camino Sanabres today. Staying at Albergue in Silleda. We had no problems finding accommodations just reserving 2 days ahead. I suspect end of September you wont even need to reserve ahead.

Great news, @Kevin Considine. Did you use any guidebook or app? The ones I’m thinking of are our little forum guide, the WisePilgrim app that incorporates our guide and is intended to be updated by users as they go, and the Brierley, which I haven’t seen.

Any good updates for forum members on what you found? Thanks!

I think I remember that you walked the Levante and stopped in Toledo. Not to hijack this thread, but if you have any comments about the Mora-Toledo stage, they would be very welcome on this thread.

Buen camino.
 
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Kevin Considine

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Great news, @Kevin Considine. Did you use any guidebook or app? The ones I’m thinking of are our little forum guide, the WisePilgrim app that incorporates our guide and is intended to be updated by users as they go, and the Brierley, which I haven’t seen.

Any good updates for forum members on what you found? Thanks!

I think I remember that you walked the Levante and stopped in Toledo. Not to hijack this thread, but if you have any comments about the Mora-Toledo stage, they would be very welcome on this thread.

Buen camino.
We used the Camino Forum Guide. And this is my second Invierno. I do jave a few updates as it appears not to have been updated since my first pilgrimage in 2019. I will post those soon.

Regarding Mora to Toledo it was hitting 40 that day so we took a bus to Toledo.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
I am starting the Invierno Thursday. Am now on the bus to Ponferrada and will stay there tomorrow. So I will be able to give first hand experience!
Hei Ingeborg! Guess you are Swedish or Suomilainen. Looking forward to your first hand experience about the Invierno. Walked the route in 2018 and hope to be back next year if covid permits. Buen camino!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Currently, a Spanish pilgrim is posting daily youtube videos about his camino. He indicates where he sleeps every day. The name of the place is listed right underneath the actual video.

You can find them all here:


So far, he has been at:
Las Médulas — Complejo Rural Agoga
Sobradelo — Bar Mar
A Rúa — Pensión Fabio
Quiroga — albergue
Monforte — albergue (newly opened, we’ve talked about it on the forum)
Chantada — Gamallo (he found it fine, others have found it less fine, but it’s open!)
Rodeiro — Carpinteiras (hostal and albergue)

Totally confirms what @Kevin Considine found — you will not need to sleep outside on the Invierno. Buen camino!
 
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Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
In recent days...

Villavieja:
Municipal Albergue..
Recently renovated and upgraded old building, very clean with great kitchen and laundry facilities. Lovely location in small pueblo just below the castle but no facilities nearby, so bring food. Phone or email ayuntamiento for door code.

Sobredelo:
Bar Mar..
A little rough and ready with on-going renovations but a very welcoming place. Manuel and Monica are kind and helpful, they will wash your clothes too! Nice food..

A Rua:
Hostal O Pillabân..
Newly decorated, spotless place, just on the way out of the town, bar downstairs wasn't open early enough for breakfast, but cafes down the street open early.

Quiroga:
Quiper Hostel..
Esther keeps nice clean rooms above the popular cafe that opens early for breakfast, right on the main street. Laundry room with a very noisy dryer outlet was opposite my room (room 4). Perhaps ask for a different room if you want a peaceful afternoon..

Monforte de Lemus:
Pension Minô..
Old world, but beautifully kept rooms above a lovely family home, close to the centre of town. I had intended to stay at the recently opened municipal, but I got into town too early to check in so just phoned them at the last minute. I did get to have dinner at the brand new municipal with friends later, and can confirm that it's open, state of the art with all facilities.

Chantada:
Gamallo Hostel..
I expected this place to live down to it's gronze reviews when I checked in. The woman was indifferent, her sullen son skulked in a doorway, lest he might be called in to help with customers, and the brothel downstairs didn't do a lot to brighten the appearance of the place, but actually the room was ok and the water was hot.. cheap and fine for a pilgrim's needs.

Rodeiro:
Albergue Carpenteira,
At the top of the town, a little off the camino, nice albergue with spacious dorms, nice living area and kitchen/laundry facilities. Good restaurant downstairs.

Lalin:
Albergue de Lalin Centro..
Close to town centre, good kitchen and laundry facilities, above the popular Casa do Gato cafe.

Some observations to address questions asked in other recent threads on the invierno:

Dogs..
loose dogs, tied up dogs, barking dogs, snarling dogs...yes, lots of them along the way I'm afraid. I've lost count of the many encounters and specific locations. I never really felt threatened personally, but I do feel a lot safer with my stick, a sturdy one. Without it I wouldn't feel so tough!

Signage:
New mojones every few hundred metres, so not easy to got lost, but not many improvised painted arrows like you find on most other routes, though noticeably more in the last couple of days. Curiously, no kilometre indicators on the way at all, they are blank on all the mojones but I guess they will appear soon. Little or no graffiti..

Cafes & bars:
Regrettably, quite a few places appear to have closed permanently due to covid, so even recent listings might be out of date. Important to plan stages, make calls and take food most days, but plenty of water fonts.

I found the Invierno to be what I had expected. Challenging enough, scenic and I loved it. I booked ahead for the first 2 days to get my bearings then just phoned ahead a day at a time after that..no issues at all. The one thing I really wanted to see didn't disappoint, the view of Las Medulas from the Orellan Mirador. I took the detour from Borrenes, (I believe the one Sara Dhooma took in her video?) and by-passed Las Medulas pueblo, I'm glad I did! I only met a handful of pilgrims. I wanted to walk the Invierno before it gets too popular, but I don't think there's any rush..

I hope this info is useful..
 
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