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LIVE from the Camino BP on the Invierno July 2021: Practical info

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi!

I am walking the Camino de Invierno between the 6 and the 14 of July. I will do updates here, mostly regarding accomodation, if it can help pilgrims coming up behind me.

Laurie&Co have written a five-star Invierno guide that is already available in the Ressources section on this Forum. But will it stand the test of time... the test of covid-related times...?

Tag along to find out!
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I am in Ponferrada now, hostal San Miguel, 30 euros. Centric. Laundromat a stone's throw away. I don't know if the municipal and the private albergue in Ponferrada are full; that would surprise me. They are both good.

What I do know, for the next stage, is that Casa Socorro is closed in (L)as Médulas. When I asked señora Socorro for alternative accomodation in (L)as Médulas, she did not mention the albergue La Senda that is supposed to be in the same pueblo: does that mean La Senda is also closed? I forgot to ask her. Booking says other options are completo as well. There was a place in nearby Orellán though, 40 euros.

Anyway, I always prefer to stay in Puente de Domingo Flórez (after Médulas). I phoned Hostal La Torre and they were full. The girl told me that it has been like this for a while and that it would probably continue to be difficult to find a room there.

I phoned the new albergue Casa Rosa, that was also completo. Casa Rosa has 8 beds according to Gronze. Can there be so many pilgrims as to fill up both La Torre and the albergue??

I phoned the Ayuntamiento in Puente de Domingo Flórez and they would provide a place for me in the polideportivo. I will give you more details tomorrow on when & where to get the keys, what the polideportivo is like, if it is free and so on.

I know much of this can change from one day to another, for example what is available on Booking and what is not. But it gives you a hint of how difficult it can be to find a place to stay right now!
 
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peregrina2000

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I know that on the Salvador, accommodation is currently virtually impossible in both La Robla and Pola De Gordon, because albergues are closed and workers are taking up all the available beds. (Some for the AVE, others dismantling a coal burning plant). I don’t know if it’s possible there is something similar going on in Puente, but maybe our sleuthing friend BP will be able to find out the cause.

The fact that the woman in La Torre said this was an ongoing problem makes me think that it’s something similar.

buen camino, BP!!!
 
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meazara

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks for info,

I am in Villalibre now. Mesa para 2 was closed, but Ruta 98 open so time for breakfast. I am about to begin the ascent to Cornatel soon... Hearts will snap, swearing will occur... Wild animals will attack... But I will make it...
Thank you for the chuckle 🤭
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2011 (Sarria to Santiago) 2013 (St. Jean to Burgos); 2014 (Burgos to Santiago); Portuguese (2018)
I am in Ponferrada now, hostal San Miguel, 30 euros. Centric. Laundromat a stone's throw away. I don't know if the municipal and the private albergue in Ponferrada are full; that would surprise me. They are both good.

What I do know, for the next stage, is that Casa Socorro is closed in (L)as Médulas. When I asked señora Socorro for alternative accomodation in (L)as Médulas, she did not mention the albergue La Senda that is supposed to be in the same pueblo: does that mean La Senda is also closed? I forgot to ask her. Booking says other options are completo as well. There was a place in nearby Orellán though, 40 euros.

Anyway, I always prefer to stay in Puente de Domingo Flórez (after Médulas). I phoned Hostal La Torre and they were full. The girl told me that it has been like this for a while and that it would probably continue to be difficult to find a room there.

I phoned the new albergue Casa Rosa, that was also completo. Casa Rosa has 8 beds according to Gronze. Can there be so many pilgrims as to fill up both La Torre and the albergue??

I phoned the Ayuntamiento in Puente de Domingo Flórez and they would provide a place for me in the polideportivo. I will give you more details tomorrow on when & where to get the keys, what the polideportivo is like, if it is free and so on.

I know much of this can change from one day to another, for example what is available on Booking and what is not. But it gives you a hint of how difficult it can be to find a place to stay right now!
When I was in Las Medulas in 2018, there was a hotel (full) so I went to the tourist center and they directed me to a private house very close-by and had a lovely stay with a family there. I loved staying in Las Medulas. Got there early enough to take a long hike through the park. I highly recommend it. But I did find that getting accommodations on the Invierno was quite difficult in 2018 and I eventually moved to other Caminos (after my third consecutive night of problems -- one night I had to take the train back to Ponferrada to stay at the albergue there because I could not find anything anywhere). I passed several albergues that were closed due to lack of pilgrims. I hope now that Brierley has published a guide to the Camino Invierno that traffic will increase over the next couple of years. The landscape was spectacular and I hope to return in 2022 or 2023.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Ponferrada - Puente de Domingo Flórez: Updates!

Toral de Merayo: There is a Coviran supermarket next to the first bar (before crossing the little stone bridge). Has it always been there?! Needless to say, it wasn't open early in the morning.

Villalibre de la Jurisdicción: Bar Mesa para 2 was closed. No idea if it is permanent. Bar Ruta 98 was open. Mr Nice Guy charged me 1.20 euro for café con leche and breakfast! Now that's cheap! I asked him and his jolly friends if they knew of any construction going on in the area, that could fill up hostals such as La Torre en Puente de Domingo Flórez with workers. But they weren't sure.

Villavieja: There was actually a really big, brown dog that started to bark at me when I walked by. He had two small, white helpers with him. But a man shouted to him from within a house to be quiet, and then he didn't move a millimeter. I don't know if it is the mastiff people have been talking about.

Las Médulas: almost everything was open. I saw that one of the smaller cafés was closed, and we now know that Casa Socorro is closed, otherwise it looked as business as usual. There were so many tourists, hikers, families... Two big tourist busses waiting at the parking. With that amount of visitors, they must keep things open.

In the pueblo and for a long stretch afterwards: loads of trucks and machines working on the road towards Puente de Domingo Flórez. Laying new ground or whatever. I suspect they could be the ones invading La Torre!

Puente de Domingo Flórez: I stay at the polideportivo. Pictures below. There are mattresses en masse!!! The only thing I need! I am so happy to be here tonight, so I can do a shorter stage tomorrow.

You collect the keys att the bar Bom Vita, in front of the polideportivo. I don't think you can just walk in as smug as a cat and demand the keys: you should call the Ayuntamiento first, as I did yesterday. And they actually wanted me to call them again today to confirm I was coming. Free of charge! Included in the price of 0 euros: birds inside the sports hall, bird poop on the floor, smashed windows, something that sounds like a metal door slamming shut twice a minute because of the wind... But it comes with an extra metal fence in in front of the doors: protection against roaming teenagers! This place should be on Booking, all I'm saying.

I haven't yet searched for accomodation tomorrow: I cannot for my life believe that there would be any shortage of it in A Rua??? We'll see.

Five-star polideportivo coming up below!
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
When I was in Las Medulas in 2018, there was a hotel (full) so I went to the tourist center and they directed me to a private house very close-by and had a lovely stay with a family there. I loved staying in Las Medulas. Got there early enough to take a long hike through the park. I highly recommend it. But I did find that getting accommodations on the Invierno was quite difficult in 2018 and I eventually moved to other Caminos (after my third consecutive night of problems -- one night I had to take the train back to Ponferrada to stay at the albergue there because I could not find anything anywhere). I passed several albergues that were closed due to lack of pilgrims. I hope now that Brierley has published a guide to the Camino Invierno that traffic will increase over the next couple of years. The landscape was spectacular and I hope to return in 2022 or 2023.

Wow, at what time of year was it? So sorry to hear about the problems. I am worried it
will be the same for me, especially with Covid restrictions in the picture!
 
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Bad Pilgrim

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Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I just went through the Gronze list to find a place for tomorrow in A Rúa.

My beloved Hostal Fabio was full (gasp); that has never happened to me before. That was a hard blow! Something weird is going on.

O Pillabán didn't answer.

Hostal Niza did answer, and that is where I stay tomorrow.

I have been turned down by hostals and albergues so many times now (even on the Ebro where I was before), so each time they say there IS a room I almost can't believe it.

There are more places in A Rúa, for example Hotel Berna and Palacio do Sil. It is all on Gronze...
 
Ponferrada - Puente de Domingo Flórez: Updates!
Villavieja: There was actually a really big, brown dog that started to bark at me when I walked by. He had two small, white helpers with him. But a man shouted to him from within a house to be quiet, and then he didn't move a millimeter. I don't know if it is the mastiff people have been talking about.
If it's the same big brown dog with the 2 little white helpers that I encountered in 2019, they live just before the mastiff's house. Those helpers loved my heels - little nippers. I wonder if the mastiff is still of this world? He was was pretty tottery when I met him - he wandered out a couple of steps, gave one half-hearted bark and went back to lay down.
There are more places in A Rúa, for example Hotel Berna and Palacio do Sil. It is all on Gronze...
Palacio do Sil is a wonderful place. Bit more pricey but a beautiful old farmhouse and grounds with lovely hosts - Alban and Julia.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
I just went through the Gronze list to find a place for tomorrow in A Rúa.

My beloved Hostal Fabio was full (gasp); that has never happened to me before. That was a hard blow! Something weird is going on.

O Pillabán didn't answer.

Hostal Niza did answer, and that is where I stay tomorrow.

I have been turned down by hostals and albergues so many times now (even on the Ebro where I was before), so each time they say there IS a room I almost can't believe it.

There are more places in A Rúa, for example Hotel Berna and Palacio do Sil. It is all on Gronze...

Is maximum capacity allowed in the albergues, hostals?

Because, you seem to be running into completo for lodging often.
 
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2019
Hostal Niza did answer, and that is where I stay tomorrow
I stayed there in 2019 and was charmed by the elderly proprieters Antonio and Lorraina. They are both so friendly and kind, with old-school manners. I've been wondering how they're faring. (Lorraina is a talker, just so you know.) ;) 💖

Please say hola from me with good wishes and thanks for their kindness (the attached pic may jog their memory).
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Now in Barco de Valdeorras: doing the river walk. But continuing to A Rúa. Weather is perfect: 20 degrees C. Nothing special so far, 0 pilgrims as usual. I slept quite well in the polideportivo. But I still need a super siesta as soon as I get to Hostal Niza...
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Something weird is going on.
I just called Hostal La Torre in Puente de Domingo Flórez. The woman there told me that the slate quarry nearby is undertaking 24/7 operations for some big projects. They have brought in workers who all stay in the hostal. They are booked through September. She did say, though, that it is worth calling, because if BP had been calling last night, there would have been a spot. So it’s best to call a few days before and again on the day itself. Weekends are much easier, usually possible.

I am also going to try to contact the Fabio to see if something similar is going on.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Puente de Domingo Flórez - A Rúa: Updates!

Sobradelo: Not much to say here. Centro Social open for breakfast. The best tortilla de patata so far of you ask me! Don't miss it. Bar Mar is open as well according to Google Maps.

Éntoma: A heads-up: it is so easy to miss the spot where you turn to the right, right after the little bridge in the hamlet. Blink and you will miss it. Last year I walked straight on and ended up on the carretera all the way to O Barco de Valdeorras. I was about to do the same thing today, but backtracked and saw the arrow. Walking in the hills is much nicer than the carretera - and safer.

Between O Barco and A Rúa you have this quaint little spot (see picture) where arrows point in two directions. Just to say it doesn't matter where you go. To the right may be a few meters shorter. But the left takes you down to a cool bridge that is closed off because it is derelict or something. In summer, there is a chance you will see juvenile delinquents diving from it anyway!! Looks super dangerous to me!!

A Rúa: Hostal Niza is a bit outdated, but has the price to go with it: 18 euros with shared bathroom. (The shower is in the room though. It is LITERALLY in a corner of the room, not in an adjacent bathroom...!) It reminds me of Pensión Yoel in Chantada, in case you have ever been there. But what the heck, Hostal Niza has electricity! (Unfortunately that was not one of the facilities in the polideportivo last night. Getting up and packing your bags in total darkness, anyone...? Luckily there was enough light coming from the lamppost outside the window for me to see what I was doing in there.)

On to Quiroga tomorrow. I am thinking about giving the municipal albergue a new chance. I might as well ask them today if there will be any school kids there. In that case I go to a hostal. Holy cow, don't tell me Quiroga is full of construction workers as well...
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I just called Hostal La Torre in Puente de Domingo Flórez. The woman there told me that the slate quarry nearby is undertaking 24/7 operations for some big projects. They have brought in workers who all stay in the hostal. They are booked through September. She did say, though, that it is worth calling, because if BP had been calling last night, there would have been a spot. So it’s best to call a few days before and again on the day itself. Weekends are much easier, usually possible.

I am also going to try to contact the Fabio to see if something similar is going on.

I thought about this as I approached Puente de Domingo Flórez yesterday. There is a big advertisement at the entrance to town, that says La Torre is open for pilgrims, the scallop shell, menu peregrino and habitaciones de peregrinos and yadda yadda... Well not so much anymore...

The girl I talked to promised me she would call me herself the following day in case there would be a late cancellation, so that was nice of her. It ruffles my feathers a bit though, that they promote themselves as almost an albergue and then have construction workers until September...
 
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Bad Pilgrim

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Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Please say hola from me with good wishes and thanks for their kindness (the attached pic may jog their memory).
Mission accomplished! I showed her the foto; she remembered you! She says Thanks and Hi and Best wishes (yes she is talkative) 😁! You were one of her first pilgrims, she said, as there weren't so many a few years ago!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
More gossip: Asúns mother is ok at the moment! But Asún still has to care a lot for her, so no time for albergue. For those of you who know whom I am talking about...

Invasion of the construction workers: Lorraina says they stay at Fabio's as well. I asked her about workers in Quiroga, but I don't remember what she said, haha. She talks at 100 kms/hour's speed.

Albergue in Quiroga did not answer my call; I got restless and secured a room at Hostal Quiper instead.
 
Albergue in Quiroga did not answer my call; I got restless and secured a room at Hostal Quiper instead.
I stayed at Hostal Quiper - a good rest there and nice bar downstairs. It wasn't open in the morning for breakfast but the bakery across from the albergue opens early (at least it did in 2019) Had a delicious dinner at the Restaurante Casa Aroza - close to Quiper.

Happy to hear that Asún's mother is okay!
 
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You were one of her first pilgrims, she said, as there weren't so many a few years ago!
I really loved this place, for all of its antiquated vibe. Glad they're good. I take it there are more pilgrims now? Surprising. But if the planning messages here on the Forum are anything to go by, the anticipated surge may be coming.

Asúns mother is ok at the moment! But Asún still has to care a lot for her, so no time for albergue.
Ah, good to know. Thank you, BP. I have been wondering.

I plan to be on the Invierno in October and am SO looking forward to
You're going to be in heaven, Nuala!
I'm so happy for you.
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
A Rúa - Quiroga: Updates!

Not much to say in terms of practical info...

Alvaredos: Did you forget to charge your phone in A Rúa? Do you need to use your electric toothbrush, or dry your hair in the mountains? Don't despair! There are two sockets at the fuente outside the hamlet of Alvaredos. Picture below: proof. I tried with my charger: they work! Someone also has provided hand sanitizer, so you can handle the sockets whithout fear of Covid. Well the rain in Galicia will wash them clean anyway...

The whole area: beware of wild boars. Sara Dhooma caught them on camera in her vlog, and I ran into one... that was parted in two halves in the middle of the Camino. I gasped, covered my nose with my hand and promised I wouldn't look. And of course I had to look when I passed it. Poor thing! I felt sick afterwards. It must have happened less than an hour ago. This was a small road where I suppose only tractors go. I don't know how a vehicle could have caused this carnage, or why the animal didn't have time to run away. Ok, more of an anecdote than an update. But they are spreading everywhere so keep your eyes open.

Quiroga: Lot of cafés seem to be closed. I entered Matrioshka at the beginning of town, after that it was all Closed or Se vende or Se alquila until I reached Hostal Quiper. 20 euros.

About the albergue municipal (150 beds): conflicting reports. The owner of Hostal Niza yesterday said it is open, in Quiper today they say it is closed. I went there to look for myself. There were minors brawling outside, or sitting lifelessly on the porch with a few adults strolling around; probably their unfortunate teachers. The door was open. I didn't feel like investigating more than that. But it looks open.

Tomorrow: Monforte de Lemos, with a wider range of accomodation according to Booking. I will try to get hold of Pensión Miño. But the owners are like 100 years old so perhaps they keep closed because of Covid. We will see.
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I stayed at Hostal Quiper - a good rest there and nice bar downstairs. It wasn't open in the morning for breakfast but the bakery across from the albergue opens early (at least it did in 2019) Had a delicious dinner at the Restaurante Casa Aroza - close to Quiper.
I know, I stayed here in 2018! They are renovating their rooms (more construction workers...) but it looks even better now! The room I got for 20 euros would probably be 30-40 in other places!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I assume you never saw Sr. Casimiro in Montefurado?

That's a mighty long day tomorrow, BP!
A pity: you'll probably be passing by the bar at Pension Pacita too early for their trucha.

they are spreading everywhere so keep your eyes open
I saw 5 crossing the road right in front of me, on the other side of Monforte. They were way more scared of me than the other way around.
 
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Alvaredo: Did you forget to charge your phone in A Rúa? Do you need to use your electric toothbrush, or dry your hair in the mountains? Don't despair! There are two sockets at the fuente outside the hamlet of Alvaredo. Picture below: proof. I tried with my charger: they work! Someone also has provided hand sanitizer, so you can handle the sockets whithout fear of Covid. Well the rain in Galicia will wash them clean anyway...
What an incredibly thoughtful and unexpected thing to find in Alvaredo! I was intrigued by this little hamlet with it's quirky art on the buildings and posts.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I assume you never saw Sr. Casimiro in Montefurado?

I thought he lived in Alvaredos! No, but another year I walked by an elderly man sitting quietly on a bench in Alvaredos, in the darkness (I left A Rúa at 04:30), and he wished me Buen Camino whithout us clearly seeing each other's faces. I always imagined it was him...!

A pity: you'll probably be passing by the bar at Pension Pacita too early for their trucha.

I know. One year they were just opening when I got there. I hope for that tomorrow! 🤤
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The flamingo was my favorite, but geeze...those eyes creeped me out.

Try walking in the dark, with a flashlight. I don't think a lot of pilgrims know this, but most of the faces are phosphorescent! The Galician man looking at you from the trees, the animals, the enormous eyes... Probably so drivers will be surprised seeing them in their headlights. But also spooky fun for pilgrims who spot them in the darkness!

Imagine going by car in the night and seeing those glowing eyes looking at you around the bend...! 😂
 
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O this thread brings bittersweet tears to my eyes and longing to my heart. I just want to be instantly transported to Spain. We were meant to be there fall of 2019 and then summer of 2020. God willing we will next be there in April 2022 and walking the Invierno the latter half of May. BP you are painting lovely pictures and all your bits of news are helpful. And the warmth of others' memories is so inviting. Thanks! LizB
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Currently in Pobra do Brollón, after 23 kms whithout café con leche. La Casa Pacita in Barxa do Lor is closed: proof below.

Only 12 kms to Monforte. But if I have to go round the waterfilled path to Reigada it will be a bit longer. Mud report coming up soon!
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Quiroga - Monforte de Lemos: Updates!

Barxa do Lor: Pensión Pacita is temporarily closed. That means there is nowhere to have coffee/buy food until Pobra do Brollón, 23 kms from Quiroga.

Pobra do Brollón: I never stay in Pobra do Brollón so I have no updates on accomodation there! It is a cute place though, and ideal for those who want to split this stage in two.

Reigada: FLASH FLASH! Breaking news! Someone has been doing a great work on the stretch that was often waterlogged, as indicated in the Invierno guide. See picture below. It is now a flat country road with shining new gravel! Even in rain, it cannot turn into mud, mark my words. Some workers/farmers were still working on the Camino, after I took this picture and had walked a little further. They were building a small irrigation canal at the side of the Camino, where the water flowed freely before.

Oh, and already when the woods started, after leaving Pobra do Brollón, someone had put flat stones to step on in the middle of the path; that part was also soggy before. I didn't take any picture of the stones because I wasn't sure they weren't there before? But I don't remember them from 2018.

Didn't y'all talk about how the Xunta would be investing a lot of money in the Camino de Invierno...? Infrastructure or something? Is this why they have made improvements? Or do the people living in Reigada do this for themselves, and lucky pilgrims benefit from it? Either way, this stretch is now perfectly walkable. Upcoming pilgrims must tell me if there are still problems with mud here: I cannot see how that would be possible...!

Monforte de Lemos: Pensión Miño was full; another surprise. Never happened to me before. I stay in Hostal MONComeysueña (about 50 meters from Miño as the crow flies, so I am in the same place in town that I am used to. The laundromat is still around the corner...) 33 euros. Don't know aaanything about the albergue in Monforte de Lemos, sorry.

Tomorrow: Chantada. My beloved low-budget Pensión Yoel is painting all their rooms! So no one can stay until the paint dries, the lady chuckled on the phone. I will take a leap of faith and stay at (gasp)... Hostal Gamallo, that has some negative reviews on Gronze, and in the Invierno Forum guide. If anyone is interested, I will give you my uncensored opinion on Gamallo tomorrow.......
 

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FreeCat

El gato libre
Year of past OR future Camino
1340
Tomorrow: Chantada. My beloved low-budget Pensión Yoel is painting all their rooms! So no one can stay until the paint dries, the lady chuckled on the phone. I will take a leap of faith and stay at (gasp)... Hostal Gamallo, that has some negative reviews on Gronze, and in the Invierno Forum guide. If anyone is interested, I will give you my uncensored opinion on Gamallo tomorrow.......

Hi BP.
The hostal Gamallo is fine. Better pensión Yoel. You can eat well in the bar below the hostal that is owned by the same owners.
I stayed twice at Yoel and two months ago at Gamallo. I would certainly repeat in Gamallo.
The price is € 15 for pilgrims.
Buen Camino.
 

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Albertagirl

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I am surprised at the report that the very muddy patch of the camino after Pobre de Brollon has recently been repared. I looked for such a location when I walked through there in the fall of 2019. In spite of almost constant rain on my Invierno walk, there was no sign of such a stretch anywhere and I am sure that I reported that to the forum. Perhaps that information was not added to the Invierno guide, which I believe was no longer being updated.
 
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Bad Pilgrim

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2021
I am surprised at the report that the very muddy patch of the camino after Pobre de Brollon has recently been repared. I looked for such a location when I walked through there in the fall of 2019. In spite of almost constant rain on my Invierno walk, there was no sign of such a stretch anywhere and I am sure that I reported that to the forum. Perhaps that information was not added to the Invierno guide, which I believe was no longer being updated.

I only have 2018 to compare with (this particular stage). Otherwise I compare with 2019 😁! So it is possible that this was made a few years ago, yes.
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
OMG it is unrecognizable.
For me it was the part under the tress that was so interesting.
Is that fixed up too?
View attachment 104430 View attachment 104429
Wow, I can assure you that there is nothing on the ground that looks like your second picture! As far as stepping stones: only after leaving Pobra do Brollón and they are super new flat ones; granite I believe.
 
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Bad Pilgrim

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2021
Right now I am in the café near the river in Belesar. It is soo hot and I have to climb up the canyon to get to Chantada. Holy hill, I need one more café con leche to pull this off. If you don't hear from me this evening, call the Guardia Civil.
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Loving your posts. I am afraid I am a bit in the vague, but I did do a tourist trek by car around there after the Ingles, finishing off with a spectacular visit to Los Catedrales up on the coast. If I had another parallel life, yes, the Camino you are on would be on my list.
 
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peregrina2000

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Hi BP.
The hostal Gamallo is fine. Better pensión Yoel. You can eat well in the bar below the hostal that is owned by the same owners.
I stayed twice at Yoel and two months ago at Gamallo. I would certainly repeat in Gamallo.
The price is € 15 for pilgrims.
Buen Camino.
This report is similar to other recent reports. I am one of the ones who stayed in the Gamallo years ago (2008, or 2009, I think was my first Invierno) and it was truly one of the dirtiest places I had ever been. Maybe there has been a change of management, or attitude, but in any case this is great news.

Loving your posts, BP!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
This report is similar to other recent reports. I am one of the ones who stayed in the Gamallo years ago (2008, or 2009, I think was my first Invierno) and it was truly one of the dirtiest places I had ever been. Maybe there has been a change of management, or attitude, but in any case this is great news.

Loving your posts, BP!
I know, and Gronze commentators have not been kind to Gamallo. Then again, Pension Yoel has an even worse track record on Gronze. I am about to find out anyway...
 
Oh, and already when the woods started, after leaving Pobra do Brollón, someone had put flat stones to step on in the middle of the path; that part was also soggy before. I didn't take any picture of the stones because I wasn't sure they weren't there before? But I don't remember them from 2018.
Are these the stones, BP? I took this photo after Pobra do Brollón, June 15, 2019.

stones.jpg
 
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PeteAJ

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Pobra do Brollón: I never stay in Pobra do Brollón so I have no updates on accomodation there! It is a cute place though, and ideal for those who want to split this stage in two.
Loving your report and hoping to be out there in Sept. Do many people split the Quirora to Monteforte de Lemos stage? Wondering, with the ascents/descents, if it's not around my daily maximum!
 

Bad Pilgrim

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2021
Monforte de Lemos - Chantada: Updates!

Monforte to Belesar: nothing to report. Only that I think that there are even more waymarkers than last time I was here. Impossible to get lost. Interesting: none of them tells the distance to Santiago. (This has been the case since Ponferrada.) Perhaps the distance will be added in the future.

Up the hill from Belesar: Two minor changes since 2019, at least for me. After the restaurante Meson de Adega do Veiga: the Camino leaves the road and descends abruptly to cross a little river. Very nice, see picture 1 and 2. But then you have to climb up to the road again! This adds more climbing to the whole stretch, compared to when you stayed on the road!!

Next change is at the spot you can see in picture 3. Before, you turned left at the sign San Pedro, as indicated by the old arrows that are still visible. But a brand new waymarker tells you to continue on the road, so that is what I did.

Chantada: My favorite café No Río was closed when I arrived, and there were Se alquila-signs in the windows!! Horrible! If I had the means I would take over it myself. "Napkins and Napolitanas" - the new game in town. Remember where you heard it first.

I stay in Hostal Gamallo, 15 euros. Hmm... It is pretty dirty. One example: I can't see my own reflection in the bathroom mirror, that's how grubby it is 😂! But I was prepared for it: the outdated Pension Yoel is 17-18 euros; this is an even lower price. So I guess that's the standard one can expect.

Tomorrow I am thinking of skipping Monte do Faro to see what the alternative Camino (according to Gronze) is like. But I haven't decided yet.
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Loving your report and hoping to be out there in Sept. Do many people split the Quirora to Monteforte de Lemos stage? Wondering, with the ascents/descents, if it's not around my daily maximum!

Don't know how common it is. But it is a stage of 35 kms so it would be nice to stay in Pobra do Brollón! Accomodation should be listed in the Invierno Forum guide, but who knows what Covid has done to them.
 
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Up the hill from Belesar: Two minor changes since 2019, at least for me. After the restaurante Meson de Adega do Veiga: the Camino leaves the road and descends abruptly to cross a little river. Very nice, see picture 1 and 2. But then you have to climb up to the road again! This adds more climbing to the whole stretch, compared to when you stayed on the road!!

Next change is at the spot you can see in picture 3. Before, you turned left at the sign San Pedro, as indicated by the old arrows that are still visible. But a brand new waymarker tells you to continue on the road, so that is what I did.
I took that little detour descending to the stepping stones across the river. In June 2019 there wasn't the fancy new mojón - just a little sign with a painted arrow. Maybe they wanted us to see the pretty old mill? It was a hot day so I was grateful for the coolness though there. Happy to see the new mojón at the San Pedro sign. When I took that uphill stretch I wrote that it was in very bad condition - deep watery mud and very overgrown path with a lot of insects and it would be better to stay on the road at that point.

Really enjoying reading your posts and reliving this camino BP!!
 
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Tomorrow I am thinking of skipping Monte do Faro to see what the alternative Camino (according to Gronze) is like. But I haven't decided yet
Option 3 is the direct route over Monte Faro and down the other side, missing the entire windmill escapade. Just turn right where it tells you not to. Go on. Be a bad pilgrim!
;)
And here I will be a rebel and bring up this forbidden possibility: it's possible to completely avoid the windmills by doing this:
Screenshot_20210205-203231_OsmAnd.jpg
At the intersection of the camino with this road, there are a whole bunch of arrows telling you DO NOT DO THIS, but I figure with a sense of direction and a good map, why not?

(Oh, and Panaderia Jesus in Rodeiro. Please eat some of their fine bread for those of us who are far away.)
 

peregrina2000

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I took that little detour descending to the stepping stones across the river. In June 2019 there wasn't the fancy new mojón - just a little sign with a painted arrow. Maybe they wanted us to see the pretty old mill? It was a hot day so I was grateful for the coolness though there. Happy to see the new mojón at the San Pedro sign. When I took that uphill stretch I wrote that it was in very bad condition - deep watery mud and very overgrown path with a lot of insects and it would be better to stay on the road at that point.

Those were the same two points I was going to make! I’ve gone off road (and down to the pretty old mill in the shade) soon after crossing the Miño river several times, so BP I think you just missed the old arrow.

And the new mojón keeping you on the road rather than following the sign to San Pedro does keep you out of that horribly brambled part. But there is an older third alternative — take the San Pedro turn-off till you come to the farm, and then head up to the road. That was the marked way many years ago, but I think that maybe the owners of the farm were unhappy with people trapsing over their land. I remember once walking that way with Reb and we were close enough to the farm operations to see a recently birthed calf.

So it looks like maybe the technique of the Gamallo owners is to clean their rooms once a month. If you get in at the beginning of the month, you will find it clean, but otherwise, your experience will be like mine and BP’s.
 
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Will do! May it be much easier than anticipated!
And wow, what a photo. Not a cloud in the sky.
(Gosh, I loved that cafe. The climb up the hill on the other side ... not so much.)
Hi VN walking
i think you were ahead of us by a few weeks but we could not find an open cafe in Belesar ….would have loved a coffee by the river…had to make do with a stone on the other side just before the climb up
Also i remember that muddy path and we heard that an Italian pilgrim had fallen in the mud ahead of us
we had met him earlier in the day and he was carrying everything but the kitchen sink so it must have been a hard fall.
 

peregrina2000

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Staff member
we had met him earlier in the day and he was carrying everything but the kitchen sink so it must have been a hard fall.
I think I must have been the one to tell you that, because I came across him just as he had fallen and was kind of like a turtle on his back trying to flip. I was glad he managed to get up as I got close because I was afraid he would pull me down into the muck if I tried to pull him up!


OMG it is unrecognizable.
For me it was the part under the trees that was so interesting.
Is that fixed up too?
View attachment 104430 View attachment 104429

But I am surprised to learn that the muddy section has been cleared up — I have a definite memory that there was a local news article a while back in which the amigos were talking about a re-route because that stretch is always waterlogged. Maybe that has been done? BP, did you notice a new route on the way into Monforte?
 
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Don't know how common it is. But it is a stage of 35 kms so it would be nice to stay in Pobra do Brollón! Accomodation should be listed in the Invierno Forum guide, but who knows what Covid has done to them.
35 km was a bit too much for us so we did break this stage by staying in Salcedo, a few km off the Camino
the owner picked us up from the crossroads and brought us back to the same place the following morning
it’s a bit pricy but a beautiful place and a nice owner
also has a nice swimming pool
there is a path in fact that goes straight to Salcedo …a short cut…from a bit further back on the Camino but I can’t remember right now where that turn off is
i think Peregrine 2000 might know where exactly it is?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Loving your report and hoping to be out there in Sept. Do many people split the Quirora to Monteforte de Lemos stage? Wondering, with the ascents/descents, if it's not around my daily maximum!
Hi, PeteAJ,

As Annette says in the post above, there is a place in Salcedo that is very pilgrim-friendly. There is also an alberge in Pobra de Brollón, but I don’t know if it’s open. You can easily walk to the Casa Rural in Salcedo on what looks like a nice wooded path most of the way. After you cross the bridge into Barxa do Lor and are out of the hamlet, there will be a hiking path sign pointing you to the right to Salcedo. The camino keeps going straight. Here is some more information, which I have pasted in from another thread. Hope it helps, buen camino, Laurie

Charrito recommends going off-route to Salcedo, with its nice casa rural.

It looks to me like there are three ways to get to Salcedo—

— take a marked trail from Barxa do Lor direct to Salcedo. This is about 8 km, I think, and you can see a wikiloc circle trail from Barxa. You would, of course, only walk the right half up to Salcedo. It looks like this trail goes along the river through woods.

— stay on the camino till Castroncelos and then walk on a rural road. From Castroncelos to Salcedo is about 4 km, and I remember seeing the road sign at the turnoff.

— ask the owner to come pick you up somewhere on the camino, either Castroncelos or Pobra de Brollón, I assume. Annette reported a pick-up in Castroncelos and is quite positive about this option.
 

Albertagirl

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Year of past OR future Camino
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I am hoping that Pension Pacita will open up again. Myself and a couple of other pilgrims stayed there a couple of nights when I was going through. The hosts were very welcoming, the prices reasonable, and the food good. I regret that I did not think of them for a donation during the pandemic. I could not have changed their financial situation, but could at least have encouraged them that they were valued.
 
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Bad Pilgrim

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2021
Chantada - Rodeiro: Updates!

Peñasillas: I have been to the Ermita do Faro so many times that I decided to do something different. Gronze has traced an alternative way around the mountain: I wanted to give it a try. It starts at the foot of Monte do Faro, in Peñasillas. Turn to the right and follow the road, instead of walking up the hill. But the alternative is not indicated, as far as I could see. After a few minutes on the road, arrows appear though.

The alternative route is really Camino-esque. Had I not known about Monte do Faro, I would have thought this was the official way. Most of it is on asphalt, except for a patch at the beginning that follows a dirt road across the meadows. Waymarking was bad there and I went wrong (towards the hamlet of Nande) but it was easy to connect with the Camino again. Otherwise there were yellow arrows everywhere, but no granite markers. The places I went through were small whithout services. The dogs are clearly less used to people walking by, and most of them are unchained. I took a picture of the welcome committee in one of them.

The alternative joins the official Camino at Porto do Faro, at about 850 mtrs altitude. The route rises slowly all the way from Peñasillas to this point. It was kind of a slog to get there on the LU- 213. Today's photos are from the alternative route. Judge for yourself if it is worth a try!

There is a restaurant 200 mtrs off Camino at Mundín, which should be open according to Google Maps. But it wasn't. Google Maps also said that No Río would be open in Chantada yesterday... Gee, I really have to look up everything myself!! Anyway, someone had left a passive-aggressive sign in the window, so at least we don't have to wonder why the restaurant closed. How kind of them! 😂

DSC_0540.JPG

I hope they spelled better than this in the contract they are talking about. I wouldn't sign anything that looks like it was written by these preschoolers.

But back to the Camino. Talking about Google Maps: The bar O Recanto in the little hamlet A Feira doesn't even show up. So I was pepared to go hungry all the way to Rodeiro. But they exist and they were open!

Rodeiro: Hostal Carpinteiras seems to be the only game in town now that O Guerra is permanently closed. 22 euros, I think (I haven't paid yet) and they also have an albergue. Staff is charming, as usual. Look at the last picture: I will be sleeping under the Cathedral in Santiago tonight! Luxury!

Tomorrow Silleda, possibly through the countryside between Rodeiro and Lalín. But there might be rain this evening so I am afraid it will be muddy out there...
 

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O Peracha

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Very helpful. Thanks for posting.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Rodeiro: Hostal Carpinteiras seems to be the only game in town now that O Guerra is permanently closed. 22 euros,
BP, are there other pilgrims there?

I very much like Hostal Carpinteiras, though I had stayed twice at the Guerra before it closed, because they were such a nice family and the restaurant was good. I actually think they may still be willing to rent you a room, but the restaurant is definitely closed. Such a familiar story — couple at retirement age, no child with any interest in following in the parents’ footsteps, no non-family buyer interest. That’s the same thing that happened with As Viñas in Pobra de Brollón!

I thought the albergue was really nice, but I also took a private room. And if I get back there this fall, fingers crossed but looking less likely, I would definitely choose a room rather than albergue.

Did you get to the panadería that VN has raved about, you know it’s the breadmaker for the king of Spain, don’t you?!

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/planning-a-“25-km-or-less”-camino-on-the-invierno.69233/page-4#post-899369
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
BP, are there other pilgrims there?

Yes, there are four of us now. I had heard about them since A Rúa, but we haven't run into each other until now! Had I stayed at Miño in Monforte, I would have met them there. We have been doing the same stages since Ponferrada! But I leave like two hours earlier every morning so...

Gossip time! They really like Pension Fabio in A Rúa, and Miño in Monforte, just like me. Oh! They stayed in La Senda in Las Médulas; the albergue! It is open! Spread the word. They stayed in the albergue in Quiroga, amongst the brawling minors and their lifeless teachers, so the albergue in Quiroga is also open (like I thought). They claim they had no problem with the kids there (I don't believe anyone who says this. But anyway.) Another topic was the wild boar in the middle of the Camino that I wrote about a few days ago. They were just as shaken as me. They say it was the work of wolves, and that they saw a couple of them in the distance, as they stepped over the boar. Shudder! We talked about the royal panadería as well, but none of us has seen it.
 

Bad Pilgrim

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Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have a definite memory that there was a local news article a while back in which the amigos were talking about a re-route because that stretch is always waterlogged. Maybe that has been done? BP, did you notice a new route on the way into Monforte?

Nope, no new route as far as I could see. I guess they opted for running a bulldozer over it, that's what it looks like now!
 
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FreeCat

El gato libre
Year of past OR future Camino
1340
But back to the Camino. Talking about Google Maps: The bar O Recanto in the little hamlet A Feira doesn't even show up. So I was pepared to go hungry all the way to Rodeiro. But they exist and they were open!
Hi BP.
The bar O Recanto if it appears on Google Maps. And you eat really well for the price of a daily menu.


The variant by Mouricios indicated by Gronze is a good alternative to avoid Monte Faro.
More photos of the variant a couple of months ago.
Buen Camino.
 

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peregrina2000

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The variant by Mouricios indicated by Gronze is a good alternative to avoid Monte Faro.

Well, I have always enjoyed the ascent to Monte Faro and the views (except for once when it was fogged in!), but those pictures of the romanesque church are very tempting! I did some basic googling — is that San Cristovo de Mouricios? Though it’s a different scene (what is it, anyway?), the figures remind me of the doorway of the church at Taboada, where Samson is riding his horse.

And I’m pretty sure I know at least one other forum member who would be tempted to go this way as well — what do you say, VN?
 
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FreeCat

El gato libre
Year of past OR future Camino
1340
Hello.
In this stage (Chantada - Rodeiro) through the Mouricios variant we can visit 5 churches of rural Romanesque typology.
-San Cristovo de Mouricios. About 500 meters from the route.
-San Vicente de Argozón. A few meters from the route.
-San Miguel do Monte. A few meters from the route.
-San Xoán de Camba. On the same path.
-San Vicente de Rodeiro. A few meters north of the town.
All were renovated in later centuries, but they retain a good part of their Romanesque factory.
The most interesting, O Monte and Camba.
 

peregrina2000

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-San Miguel do Monte. A few meters from the route.
I am pretty bad with my bible stories, even though I love Romanesque. Do you know what scene is displayed in the tympanum? Looks like someone has been killed on the lower right and the main character is holding something that I can’t identify. And then there’s the guy in the upper right holding a book.

I will definitely go this way next time, @FreeCat. Thank you so much!
 
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peregrina2000

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Hi Laurie.
According to historians, it is a scene of minstrels where two musicians and a dancer sang, in a propagandistic way, about the relics and tombs of the saints on the Camino de Santiago.
Thanks, @FreeCat. Since I know a lot of my Invierno pals are big Romanesque fans, I think it’s ok to pursue this some more. I had thought that the thing in the main character’s hand could be a musical instrument of some kind, and so the guy lying on the ground must not be dead.

To those who know more about history of architecture — isn’t it unusual to have a non-religious scene on a tympanum of a Romanesque church? I guess in some ways it’s religious in that it’s promoting the Camino. But can people think of other Romanesque tympanums (just specifically thinking about that part, because I can think of lots of non-religious carvings on capitals, gargoyles, etc) that didn’t include figures that were more direcly religious like a Bible story, Mary, apostles, etc etc.? And this may just prove my ignorance, so enlighten me!

And apologies to BP because this is definitely not within the scope of the thread’s promise to focus on “practical information”. :p
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Rodeiro - Silleda: Updates!

Not much to say!

The start: It was cold, and raining from time to time. But it was not muddy through the forest. There are stepping stones where necessary. The (much later) patch between Trasfontao and Silleda is worse. It was on the verge of being flooded: I had to watch my steps carefully. And there is always a lot of insects there.

But let's continue with the part Rodeiro-Lalín. If there still is a dog problem on this Camino, it is in A Ponte de Pedroso (I think. I could have the hamlets mixed up.) Always two or three dogs acting aggressively, unchained. I don't care, but I put myself in the place of a doggo-phobe and that would be frightening. They get near you, they bark, they come from behind when you walk past them... It is all for show, but so annoying. It has always been the same for me in this village.

Lalín: When I reached the PO-533, I followed the signs on the other side of the road for the first time. Normally I turn right and follow the PO-533 into Lalín. Now I know that the Camino takes you on a rodeo behind and above the town, and then down between some small streets, right and left and what-not instead of going straight into the center... not necessary! I get that they want you to see the church of San Martiño de Lalín de Arriba, but boy was there tossing and turning until I got there. Sorry, but I will take my short-cut in the future.

I was happy to see that the way down to the river walk, and out of Lalín, is perfectly marked now. I think most people end this stage in Lalín though, as there is a nice albergue here.

The bridge of Taboada: a heads-up that the calzada will be renovated, according to an article I read in the newspaper in Rodeiro yesterday. You can read about it here. So it may look a bit different next time you arrive! Gee, they should concentrate on cleaning up the Trasfontao-Silleda-part instead.

Silleda: I stay in Bar-Hostal Toxa again. My least favorite place in Silleda... Some years ago, I dubbed it Hostal Toxic and swore I would never stay here again. But I needed something cheap today. Well it is not 15 euros as it says on Gronze, but 20. Much better room than three years ago: I am surprised. In fact, I didn't recognize the entrance or the corridors at all... I asked the barman: turns out the hostal is in two different buildings! The door next to the café (where I stayed three years ago), and then the other one much further away, around the corner (next to Pastelería Dulce Deza). The rooms and the overall impression in the second building is clearly better. I don't know how they distribute the pilgrims, but... you may end up in Hostal Toxic as well as in Hostal Toxa.

Tomorrow a short stage to Ponte Ulla! I know it is not the Invierno anymore, but I will finish what I started. So I will be back tomorrow as well!

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