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

Past OR future Camino
2011 (Sarria to Santiago) 2013 (St. Jean to Burgos); 2014 (Burgos to Santiago); Portuguese (2018)
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

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.
I made a mistake with my timing -- I was on the Camino Invierno in April of 2019, not 2018. I walked for five or six days and never saw another pilgrim during the hiking day (and only two others total). I don't mind walking alone and loved the route itself, so the solitude was fine; but the lack of traffic was the reason for closed albergues (I believe). I don't know if these same albergues opened up later in the season, but I found it confusing because I thought the Camino Invierno would be walkable early in the season. Also, I could not find space in any of the hotels, etc., because they were full due to Semana Santa. The two other peregrinos I saw one night at dinner were Spaniards and they had made reservations months in advance at private hostels, hotels, etc. -- probably what one has to do during that time of year. I look forward to hearing whether there are more options now and in the future.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Silleda: I stay in Bar-Hostal Toxa again.
Hi, BP, I think I have only stayed in Silleda once, in the albergue turístico, and it was cheap and fine. Actually we were in an apartment with a shared bath and kitchen. But I’m glad you were spared the toxic place!

But here’s a question I should have asked you yesterday, since now you are past the place. I can’t remember the name of that little hamlet before Silleda, old church, right after (I think) that wooded scene you picture above. I thought I remembered that there was an albergue there, or about to be an albergue there, or something like that. Do you know what place I mean, and did you see any albergue or other accommodations?

Can’t believe you are almost in Santiago! Buen camino, Laurie
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
But here’s a question I should have asked you yesterday, since now you are past the place. I can’t remember the name of that little hamlet before Silleda, old church, right after (I think) that wooded scene you picture above. I thought I remembered that there was an albergue there, or about to be an albergue there, or something like that. Do you know what place I mean, and did you see any albergue or other accommodations?

Can’t believe you are almost in Santiago! Buen camino, Laurie

You must mean Trasfontao. No, I didn't see anything about albergues. There is a fancy hotel though!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I made a mistake with my timing -- I was on the Camino Invierno in April of 2019, not 2018. I walked for five or six days and never saw another pilgrim during the hiking day (and only two others total). I don't mind walking alone and loved the route itself, so the solitude was fine; but the lack of traffic was the reason for closed albergues (I believe). I don't know if these same albergues opened up later in the season, but I found it confusing because I thought the Camino Invierno would be walkable early in the season. Also, I could not find space in any of the hotels, etc., because they were full due to Semana Santa. The two other peregrinos I saw one night at dinner were Spaniards and they had made reservations months in advance at private hostels, hotels, etc. -- probably what one has to do during that time of year. I look forward to hearing whether there are more options now and in the future.

I can imagine it is hard to find accomodation during Semana santa! I would think that is the main reason for what you went through. I always walk the Invierno in July, and there has never been any problem (until this year). I walked in 2015 for the first time. This year I had to put more effort than usual into searching for places to stay... Anyway, you should try another month and I think it will be easier!
 
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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!
I found a paper that might offer more insight on the tympanum at San Miguel do Monte, but it is beyond my abilities to make sense of it. Fortunately the abstract is translated into English:


The soldadeiras were female characters that were traditionally considered as companions of troubadours and minstrels during their performance. The mockeries of these women are a commonplace in the cantigas de escarnio. They are ridiculed by having an excessive tendency towards game and lust, so in literary studies they were prone to be assimilated to prostitutes. The aim of this project is to carry out an interdisciplinary research that involves a literary and artistic analysis. It consists on the study of both moral and physical descriptio exclusively made of the so-called “soldadeiras” in the cantigas, as well as the representation of these women in the Galician Romanesque art. Although the literary characterization reflects a negative vision of these figures, the privileged position of their representations in the tympanums of some churches, such as San Miguel do Monte (Chantada, Lugo) or Santa María de Ucelle (Coles, Ourense), confirms that the literary interpretations of the cantigas de escarnio cannot be maintained, since their purpose was to make the audience laugh through a grotesque representation of the society of the time.

So ... At least some of the figures in the picture are the female companions of troubadours, who may have had some notoriety ... but perhaps that's a more modern spin on them.

As to what they're doing on the tympanum of a church ... Hmm ... The answer might be on page 124 of the same paper. Would be great if someone can work out what it says. It seems to relate to King David ... So perhaps the troubadours and their female companions are a representation of David's story. Certainly, if we're looking for a ribald biblical story with music and women, I think some of King David's scenes from the Book of Samuel would fit the bill.
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Silleda - Ponte Ulla: Updates!

Well not so many updates. It is the same old way between Silleda and Ponte Ulla as always... Time flew by and I was in Ponte Ulla before noon.

Bandeira: Do NOT miss the café-pastelería Dulce Deza. The best cafetería in the northern hemisphere. This time they gave me a pastry that I never had tasted before. It was the best thing I ever had. Softer than croissant, cream inside but more buttery than in a napolitana, and a white powder on top... Ah! I wish I had taken a photo of it so I could ask you if you know what it is called! But it ended up in my stomach all too soon. That cafetería deserves a pilgrimage on its own! It now dawns upon me that Dulce Desa is also in Silleda, right next to Hostal Toxa (not Hostal Toxic). Next time in Silleda, I will investigate if they keep the same standard there.

San Miguel de Castro-Ponte Ulla: the café before the descent to Ponte Ulla was closed. Instead, there is a vending machine before you enter San Miguel. The café Ríos right after the bridge in Ponte Ulla is also temporarily closed, but the Taverna de Gundián would open at 6 in the evening.

Ponte Ulla: I stay at O Cruceiro de Ulla, as usual. 30 euros for a room, but they also have an albergue. And no albergue in Outeiro for me: I have stayed there once, but I don't know how to spend my time up there. I am in no hurry to reach Santiago in the morning, so I might as well do those extra 4 kms to Outeiro tomorrow.

Last entry coming up tomorrow!

DSC_0550.JPG
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Silleda - Ponte Ulla: Updates!

Well not so many updates. It is the same old way between Silleda and Ponte Ulla as always... Time flew by and I was in Ponte Ulla before noon.

Bandeira: Do NOT miss the café-pastelería Dulce Deza. The best cafetería in the northern hemisphere. This time they gave me a pastry that I never had tasted before. It was the best thing I ever had. Softer than croissant, cream inside but more buttery than in a napolitana, and a white powder on top... Ah! I wish I had taken a photo of it so I could ask you if you know what it is called! But it ended up in my stomach all too soon. That cafetería deserves a pilgrimage on its own! It now dawns upon me that Dulce Desa is also in Silleda, right next to Hostal Toxa (not Hostal Toxic). Next time in Silleda, I will investigate if they keep the same standard there.

San Miguel de Castro-Ponte Ulla: the café before the descent to Ponte Ulla was closed. Instead, there is a vending machine before you enter San Miguel. The café Ríos right after the bridge in Ponte Ulla is also temporarily closed, but the Taverna de Gundián would open at 6 in the evening.

Ponte Ulla: I stay at O Cruceiro de Ulla, as usual. 30 euros for a room, but they also have an albergue. And no albergue in Outeiro for me: I have stayed there once, but I don't know how to spend my time up there. I am in no hurry to reach Santiago in the morning, so I might as well do those extra 4 kms to Outeiro tomorrow.

Last entry coming up tomorrow!

View attachment 104714
BP,
Super pic of vegetation taking over;
thanks for all your daily summaries.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Ponte Ulla - Santiago de Compostela: Updates!

No updates... What can I say? No other pilgrims en route, but of course there is a bunch of them here in Santiago. Unfortunately half of Plaza de Obradoiro is occupied by... construction workers (who would have thought). Don't know if they are preparing a slate quarry in front of the Cathedral, but they are doing something. Oh, I read about it in the newspaper but I don't even remember.

I am in the café Tertulia, awaiting the check-in at the holy shrine of Hostal Costa Azul: 32 euros. Then I will pay homage to Lavandería, visit the sanctuary of Heladería, and express penitence at San Pastelería. I say, Santiago is full of historical landmarks...!

Tomorrow train to Madrid!

Hopefully I'll be back next year!

Adiós!

DSC_0556.JPG
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I had a hard decision — whether to use the 🤣 or the ❤️ for that post. Bravo, BP, your posts have been a real pick-me-upper. If I manage to make my way back to the Invierno in the fall, I will no doubt be back perusing this thread.

Thanks for sharing your camino with us — in these confinement days, hearing from a “real pilgrim” actually out there gives us all hope!

Buen camino, Laurie
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I had a hard decision — whether to use the 🤣 or the ❤️ for that post. Bravo, BP, your posts have been a real pick-me-upper. If I manage to make my way back to the Invierno in the fall, I will no doubt be back perusing this thread.

Thanks for sharing your camino with us — in these confinement days, hearing from a “real pilgrim” actually out there gives us all hope!

Buen camino, Laurie

Thanks, but there weren't so many updates, only my blabbing 😟!!

About hope... Covid cases are on the rise, that is why I better get home as soon as possible. The Galician newspapers are full of it: "Alarming increase" and "Do we need new restrictions?" . But on the opposite page there are articles like: "Xunta wants 100.000 pilgrims this year", "The King visits Roncesvalles and promotes the Camino" and "We want as many pilgrims as possible"... How do those two messages go together? I don't know if the city wants me here or not 🤯!
 

donalomahony

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
"Camino from 2013 to 2019" paused for now...
Thanks, but there weren't so many updates, only my blabbing 😟!!

About hope... Covid cases are on the rise, that is why I better get home as soon as possible. The Galician newspapers are full of it: "Alarming increase" and "Do we need new restrictions?" . But on the opposite page there are articles like: "Xunta wants 100.000 pilgrims this year", "The King visits Roncesvalles and promotes the Camino" and "We want as many pilgrims as possible"... How do those two messages go together? I don't know if the city wants me here or not 🤯!


Thank you and safe home...
 
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2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
I am in the café Tertulia,
Oyyyyy. Envy.
Enjoy all that, BP. Well-deserved.

Covid cases are on the rise, that is why I better get home as soon as possible. The Galician newspapers are full of it: "Alarming increase" and "Do we need new restrictions?" . But on the opposite page there are articles like: "Xunta wants 100.000 pilgrims this year", "The King visits Roncesvalles and promotes the Camino" and "We want as many pilgrims as possible"... How do those two messages go together? I don't know if the city wants me here or not 🤯!
Safe home!
(If you're hankering for a walk once you get back, join us over some napolitanas in Catalunya on the Cami St Jaume/Catalan. )
 

khiker9

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, '12; Frances, '14; Port, '15; Frances, Norte, Fisterre, '16; Ingles, Fisterre/Muxia '17
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!

View attachment 104671
BP - Thanks for all the info. A friend & I are planning the Invierno for mid-October. We have each walked multiple Caminos & being senior pilgrims have occasionally had to lighten our load & send a bag forward. Have you noticed any flyers or postings for such service along the way. Just a little concerned considering the more limited services going on right now. thanks for any advice. Kathi
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
We have each walked multiple Caminos & being senior pilgrims have occasionally had to lighten our load & send a bag forward. Have you noticed any flyers or postings for such service along the way. Just a little concerned considering the more limited services going on right now. thanks for any advice.

Kathi,
That question just came up on another thread — take a look.




Buen camino, Laurie
 

khiker9

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, '12; Frances, '14; Port, '15; Frances, Norte, Fisterre, '16; Ingles, Fisterre/Muxia '17
Kathi,
That question just came up on another thread — take a look.




Buen camino, Laurie
Thanks Laurie! I totally missed this conversation. I emailed him & he has already responded. This should work out perfectly. Kathi
 
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palmah

Member
Past OR future Camino
2010
Thanks, but there weren't so many updates, only my blabbing 😟!!

About hope... Covid cases are on the rise, that is why I better get home as soon as possible. The Galician newspapers are full of it: "Alarming increase" and "Do we need new restrictions?" . But on the opposite page there are articles like: "Xunta wants 100.000 pilgrims this year", "The King visits Roncesvalles and promotes the Camino" and "We want as many pilgrims as possible"... How do those two messages go together? I don't know if the city wants me here or not 🤯!
I for one among many, looked forward to your blabbing! Thank you!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
BP - Thanks for all the info. A friend & I are planning the Invierno for mid-October. We have each walked multiple Caminos & being senior pilgrims have occasionally had to lighten our load & send a bag forward. Have you noticed any flyers or postings for such service along the way. Just a little concerned considering the more limited services going on right now. thanks for any advice. Kathi

Hi Khiker9,

Not any flyers, and I don't use those services myself, so I know nothing about it. But I wrote in 2018 or 2019 that there were many bags waiting to be sent forward in the morning in the hostales in Monforte de Lemos and Rodeiro. So there must be some kind of service! In 2018 I spoke to another pilgrim on the Invierno who had a foot problem and he said he had sent his bag forward.
 
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, VDLP 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, Part Ruta de la Lana 2019, VDLP 2019
B
Silleda - Ponte Ulla: Updates!

Well not so many updates. It is the same old way between Silleda and Ponte Ulla as always... Time flew by and I was in Ponte Ulla before noon.

Bandeira: Do NOT miss the café-pastelería Dulce Deza. The best cafetería in the northern hemisphere. This time they gave me a pastry that I never had tasted before. It was the best thing I ever had. Softer than croissant, cream inside but more buttery than in a napolitana, and a white powder on top... Ah! I wish I had taken a photo of it so I could ask you if you know what it is called! But it ended up in my stomach all too soon. That cafetería deserves a pilgrimage on its own! It now dawns upon me that Dulce Desa is also in Silleda, right next to Hostal Toxa (not Hostal Toxic). Next time in Silleda, I will investigate if they keep the same standard there.

San Miguel de Castro-Ponte Ulla: the café before the descent to Ponte Ulla was closed. Instead, there is a vending machine before you enter San Miguel. The café Ríos right after the bridge in Ponte Ulla is also temporarily closed, but the Taverna de Gundián would open at 6 in the evening.

Ponte Ulla: I stay at O Cruceiro de Ulla, as usual. 30 euros for a room, but they also have an albergue. And no albergue in Outeiro for me: I have stayed there once, but I don't know how to spend my time up there. I am in no hurry to reach Santiago in the morning, so I might as well do those extra 4 kms to Outeiro tomorrow.

Last entry coming up tomorrow!

View attachment 104714
BP, I know this is five or six weeks late, but I too swooned over the wonderful offering at Dulce Deza in Bandeira. In November 2014 they had the same offering you describe, but not the day I passed through in November 2019. It is a brioche dough filled with a diplomat cream. The secret of diplomat cream is that it's a proper custard cream folded through with whipped cream. I recall in the Dulce Deza confection, holes had been made in the top, so that the diplomat cream oozed through a little. Plus icing sugar dusted over the top.
You could make it yourself using a not too rich brioche recipe formed into two discs, a real pastry cream, with the whipped cream folded through. Your only danger would be in consuming the whole thing yourself. It's found in various manifestations in a number of European countries. For example, we made it at a German bakery that I worked in in Auckland, New Zealand. (Yup, I trained as a pastelera.)
 

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@Bernice M ~
Just...OMG.

I wish I could try convocting this, with good Anchor cream and butter, and a crowd of willing quality control testers.
Maybe agsin someday, maybe not.

And too right.
That's way too dangerous to be a solo endeavor.
And this is called?
 
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I can't remember what we called it in the German bakery, nor what the bakery in Bandeira called it. My Cordon Bleu has a Gâteau Lorraine, but it uses chopped almonds on top and a Crème Chantilly in the middle. It splits the brioche disc in half. I'd do that too, but to my mind it's the diplomat cream that makes it s winner.
 
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Various routes...
Crème Chantilly in the middle. It splits the brioche disc in half. I'd do that too, but to my mind it's the diplomat cream that makes it s winner.
There is no comparison. Crème Chantilly seems like a way to ruin perfectly good whipped cream...too sweet by far. And don't ruin the diplomat cream by adding gelatin. :eek:

Not that I ever needed a reason to walk the Invierno again, but definitely adding this place to the list.
 
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Tropézienne looks similar, although Larousse Gastronomique says it uses a cream mousseline (pastry cream with extra whipped butter) enhanced with rum and icing sugar on top. Reminds me of a River Café chocolate mousse - you may as well slather it on your hips, because that's where it's going.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
There is no comparison. Crème Chantilly seems like a way to ruin perfectly good whipped cream...too sweet by far. And don't ruin the diplomat cream by adding gelatin. :eek:

Not that I ever needed a reason to walk the Invierno again, but definitely adding this place to the list.
But I shall be going through there again on the Sanabres in November. And for the first time, I shall be staying in Bandeira.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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Oh, wonderful. Eat one of those for me, @Albertagirl . 🙃
The only upside of this kind of virtual pastry eating is that I'm safe from this:
If they're as good as you say, I promise to eat one for each of us. Approaching Santiago may be the only time in my life, after my walk from Valencia, that I shall be able to manage two, without putting both of them on my stomach, as well as in.
 

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