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Blog from a September Invierno

2020 Camino Guides

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I just came across a blog from a US peregrino who walked the Invierno in September. He is no longer posting live, and I’ve just read his entry from Quiroga to Sobradelo.

What makes this blog so interesting to me (and so valuable for future Invierno walkers) is how he has really struggled on this camino. Just goes to show how very individual each camino is. And I am really amazed at his tenacity in the face of such hard days. I am not sure I would have continued if I had had those first days.

Good writing, beautiful pictures, and interesting historical and cultural contexts too!! And in spite of his travails, he is still able to point out many moments of beauty.

 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I just came across a blog from a US peregrino who walked the Invierno in September. He is no longer posting live, and I’ve just read his entry from Quiroga to Sobradelo.

What makes this blog so interesting to me (and so valuable for future Invierno walkers) is how he has really struggled on this camino. Just goes to show how very individual each camino is. And I am really amazed at his tenacity in the face of such hard days. I am not sure I would have continued if I had had those first days.

Good writing, beautiful pictures, and interesting historical and cultural contexts too!! And in spite of his travails, he is still able to point out many moments of beauty.


Thanks Laurie, can't wait to take a look.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Excellent writing. A bit difficult to follow chronologically. But worth it. I look forward to the latest installment.
 
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lindam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Via de La Plata, Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan and Aragones, Norte
An excellent blog, well-written and very engaging. Having just walked this route, it was interesting to see it through someone else's eyes. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading the next entries.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
Thanks Laurie -- Yes -- I am finally back to Camino dreaming! I had a total ankle replacement in December 2016, Tom had disc replacements in 2017 and then we both retired in June and moved from Idaho to Ohio. We are planning to walk the Frances to Ponferada and then the Invierno next September to celebrate our health and retirement! This blog was wonderful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I just came across a blog from a US peregrino who walked the Invierno in September. He is no longer posting live, and I’ve just read his entry from Quiroga to Sobradelo.

What makes this blog so interesting to me (and so valuable for future Invierno walkers) is how he has really struggled on this camino. Just goes to show how very individual each camino is. And I am really amazed at his tenacity in the face of such hard days. I am not sure I would have continued if I had had those first days.

Good writing, beautiful pictures, and interesting historical and cultural contexts too!! And in spite of his travails, he is still able to point out many moments of beauty.


Hi Laurie
Thank you so much for posting this link
It's been an absolute joy to read
Now waiting for the next instalment as I have subscribed to the blog!
Many thanks
Annette
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Annette, you and I only walked up and around the parador — his photos and description suggest we missed a real gem!
Yes what a beautiful building
We did go inside though and I remember you took some photographs
His room looked lovely
What a trooper he is

Should have booked in for the night perhaps!!!
I can't remember where we stayed though...only remember all the technology gizmos that came alive at 4am and Charlie and myself running around trying to switch them off

I am enjoying his blog though
I did send him a message suggesting that he post on the forum for the wider audience to see
I don't know why I'm still so interested in and missing that Camino ...it's had more of an impact on me for some reason than any of the others we've walked
All the best
Annette
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Is it a well signposted route? I am assuming it is because Tony hasn't mentioned getting lost during the day?
Hi laineylainey,
It's extremely well marked
Lots of new shiny bollards
Didn't even have to look out for a mark.....they were just there when we needed them
And We didn't get lost even once which is a big change for us!!
Annette
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Thanks Annette, any chance of seeing your own stages on the Invierno? I ask because I notice that are options of 8,9,10 or even 12 days?
Elaine
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Thanks Annette, any chance of seeing your own stages on the Invierno? I ask because I notice that are options of 8,9,10 or even 12 days?
Elaine
Have sent you a PM
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
OMG what a gut-busting first day. To end up at that weird place, and have to go down to Las Medulas. Oy.....had he known, he could have just taken the regular route.
I don't know why I'm still so interested in and missing that Camino ...it's had more of an impact on me for some reason than any of the others we've walked
Ditto. It has haunted me.
Thanks Annette, any chance of seeing your own stages on the Invierno? I ask because I notice that are options of 8,9,10 or even 12 days?
There were a number of us out there this year who wrote about our walks, Elaine. Some faster than others....
Here's a thread that has a bunch of them bookmarked.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
It's clear that he's read our guide, as how else would he know about the possibility of walking from A Rúa to Montefurado in the afternoon, getting the train back, then catching the early morning train the next day to start walking from Montefurado. If you remember, Laurie, this was my suggestion some years ago (on my second or third Invierno), and it makes sense.

I'm not sure why he didn't deal with getting picked up and dropped off when he stayed in Salcedo. It's clearly explained that this is part of the deal.
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
What makes this blog so interesting to me (and so valuable for future Invierno walkers) is how he has really struggled on this camino. Just goes to show how very individual each camino is.
So true. I love reading every different account of this camino. Fascinating to me how different it is for each of us.

I don't know why I'm still so interested in and missing that Camino ...it's had more of an impact on me for some reason than any of the others we've walked
Yes! This camino has defined something for me more so than any other route that I've walked. Or I should say...still defining.

Ditto. It has haunted me.
And for me too! I think about it often. Interesting to me as well...I remember the tough moments as strongly and as clearly as all the good ones. Usually after past walks, the tough days recede in my memory. Not this camino. It was a such a balanced, full "all senses alive" experience. There is a strength the Invierno gave me and continues to give me that I'm so grateful for.
 
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Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
I just came across a blog from a US peregrino who walked the Invierno in September. He is no longer posting live, and I’ve just read his entry from Quiroga to Sobradelo.

What makes this blog so interesting to me (and so valuable for future Invierno walkers) is how he has really struggled on this camino. Just goes to show how very individual each camino is. And I am really amazed at his tenacity in the face of such hard days. I am not sure I would have continued if I had had those first days.

Good writing, beautiful pictures, and interesting historical and cultural contexts too!! And in spite of his travails, he is still able to point out many moments of beauty.

Such a great blog! Thank you for adding the link

Davey
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
It's clear that he's read our guide, as how else would he know about the possibility of walking from A Rúa to Montefurado in the afternoon, getting the train back, then catching the early morning train the next day to start walking from Montefurado. If you remember, Laurie, this was my suggestion some years ago (on my second or third Invierno), and it makes sense.

I'm not sure why he didn't deal with getting picked up and dropped off when he stayed in Salcedo. It's clearly explained that this is part of the deal.
Yes that's what we did in June/ july
A wonderful place to stay and a lovely man running the place
It's not a cheap option though but a real treat
Annette
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Yes that's what we did in June/ july
A wonderful place to stay and a lovely man running the place
It's not a cheap option though but a real treat
Annette
Yes, José is a reallly nice host. It's still a pity that Pensión As Viñas in A Pobra closed down, though.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm not sure why he didn't deal with getting picked up and dropped off when he stayed in Salcedo. It's clearly explained that this is part of the deal.
When I walked last summer, shortly after I saw a turn-off for a trail to Salcedo. I think it was along the river, but since I was headed to Monforte I stayed on the camino. Wikiloc has a bunch of tracks, though, so maybe someone who is going to sleep in Salcedo will give it a try and report back.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Salcedo? It's signposted just after you walk up past the church in Barxa de Lor. Just over 6 kms from Pensión Pacita.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I'm not sure why he didn't deal with getting picked up and dropped off when he stayed in Salcedo. It's clearly explained that this is part of the deal.
Well, some people just want to walk, if that is humanly possible.

I was tempted to go that way, but like Laurie, Monforte was calling and it was a long detour.
I did stop at the Castro along the way in San Lourenzo, though, which was a minimal detour and very nice.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Well, some people just want to walk, if that is humanly possible.

I was tempted to go that way, but like Laurie, Monforte was calling and it was a long detour.
I did stop at the Castro along the way in San Lourenzo, though, which was a minimal detour and very nice.
Depending on how you feel, I would definitely walk it up to Salcedo. I've done the road route from Pensión Pacita to A Pobra, as well as the proper camino up through Castroncelos. The problem with doing Quiroga to Monforte de Lemos all in one stage could be the fact that it's a good 36 or so kilometres.

Here's the link:

 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
When I walked last summer, shortly after I saw a turn-off for a trail to Salcedo. I think it was along the river, but since I was headed to Monforte I stayed on the camino. Wikiloc has a bunch of tracks, though, so maybe someone who is going to sleep in Salcedo will give it a try and report back.
Yes this is the path we saw as well just after the pension Pacito
Would definitely have taken it on the way to Salcedo but were a bit fearful of getting lost as we are so so good at getting lost wherever we are!!
Perhaps this could be added to the PDF for those wishing to stay in Salcedo
Annette
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Reading his account makes me wonder if it's silly to walk to Las Medulas from Ponferrada and from A Rua to Quiroga. I know it is a personal thing, but would any of you who have walked it, suggest rethinking my tentative plans?
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Those are long days but quite doable if you're reasonably fit. @Kiwi-family .
A Rua to Quiroga is a little up and down but mostly on the level, so it wasn't a hard day.

From Ponfi to As Medulas, on the other hand....there's a monster hill about 2/3 of the what through it.
I stopped in Borrenes and then had a very short day to As Medulas the next day - on purpose, because I wanted to linger in As Medulas. Just do not get there on a Tuesday when everything is closed!
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Reading his account makes me wonder if it's silly to walk to Las Medulas from Ponferrada and from A Rua to Quiroga. I know it is a personal thing, but would any of you who have walked it, suggest rethinking my tentative plans?
Hi, Kiwi-family,
I know that a number of forum members have found the Ponferrada to Las Médulas stage to be a challenge. The real shame in all of that is that arriving at Médulas zonked means you won’t get to see the site itself. The museums are very interesting and the views unique. To walk to the lookout at Orellán adds another few kms to the day’s total, but of course that would be backpack-free. I know not everyone feels the same, but I don’t want to walk through a UNESCO heritage site and not see it.

Playing it by ear may not be an option for you, but it may be the best way to go. You have several shorter alternatives. Villavieja is probably too short for you, but the ayuntamiento tells me the albergue will be in more reliable hands next year. Borrenes is a good option, it’s after the ascent to the castle, leaving just one more ascent before Médulas. I think the casa rural in Borrenes has opened or is about to open an albergue there. The next day would be very short to Médulas, but you would then have plenty of time to enjoy the place. Or you could walk on a further 9 km to Puente Domingo Flórez. That wouldn’t be a good choice for me, since I like to shower and change before “playing tourist”, but it would give you a longer day if you are pressed for time. (And from Borrenes, you could also take the option @amancio described, which takes you from Borrenes up directly to the mirador at Orellán — I followed that route this year and enjoyed it a lot. But I would not do it without a GPS).

The A Rua day is a long one, but many do it without being much worse for wear. And I don’t think it’s any harder than Quiroga to Monforte, maybe a bit easier in fact. If you do a short day from Barco into A Rúa, @Charrito’s train option for the afternoon — walk out to Montefurado and train back — is a good one. No rescheduling needed if you had planned to walk Barco to A Rúa already.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
The next day would be very short to Médulas, but you would then have plenty of time to enjoy the place.
That's what I did and it was a super option. I had lots of time before lunch for the museum and a walk in the closer part of the mine. It is very beautiful back in there, with a forest of chestnut trees...
And then in the afternoon I went up to the Mirador Laurie's talking about, but without the weight of the pack on my back.

The only regret I have is not visiting the other mirador in the afternoon, when the light is best. You pass close to it on the way out to PDF - but in the morning the light is not good for photos, and it is an iconic view.
The guy in the museum was a font of good info and he can tell you the good places to go.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Thanks for your input again! I’ve been scheming with the maps and elevations and guides and google.....I like to be aware of options and then play it by ear once I hit the ground. I’m really favouring the idea of just walking to Villavieja (perhaps after a visit to Ponferrada’s castle) - I don’t mind a short day as one of the things I’ll be doing on this 50th birthday hike is writing letters to 50 people who have influenced my life so far so that could keep me busy! Then I do like that alternative track to Las Medulas and a day pottering around the site.
As for the other long day, it doesn’t look so bad and I’m comfortable exceeding 30km - we’ll see what happens!
 

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