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Camino de Invierno Summer 2018: observations!

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#1
Hi everyone,

I promised to write this for so long now… Here it comes!

Summary: I walked the Invierno this year (summer 2018) between July 19 and July 27. That makes 9 stages which is perfect for me! But as Laurie’s Invierno guide suggests, there are several ways to change this if you want to make more or fewer stages. I stayed in the same towns as in 2015, when I walked the Invierno for the first time. I was eager to see how much had changed on this route since three years…!

I am posting this mainly to point out things that could go into the next version of the Camino de Invierno guide! Just tag along and feel free to comment!

July 18: Arrival to Ponferrada by bus

I had previously finished my Camino Mozárabe (from Almería) in Mérida. I decided to take the bus between Mérida and Ponferrada to start the Camino de Invierno for a second time. The bus departed from Mérida about 01:30 a.m. (gasp!). Needless to say, I was the only traveler waiting for the bus at the dark, spooky backyard of the Mérida bus station in the middle of the night.

July 19: Beginning from Ponferrada: I had been to Ponferrada many times before and I am always keen on checking out new albergues or other places to stay. So, this time I opted for the private albergue Guiana. It is very easy to find. Whether you come walking from the bus station in Ponferrada or from the Camino Francés, you will certainly stumble upon it. It is placed at about an equal distance between the medieval castle and the municipal albergue on the Camino Francés. Very clean and modern, looking as if it was built yesterday. A breakfast as if it was a buffé in a hotel (although centered on the sweet stuff: bread, jam, fruit, berries, cereals… and almost nothing salty. The staff pointed this out to me as some pilgrims prefer salty things for breakfast). Breakfast +5 euros, washing machine +5 euros. I don’t remember the price for the actual stay, but since it is a private albergue I guess it was some 10-15 euros. What more can I say? Very friendly staff as well. I am definitely coming back! :OD

About Priaranza del Bierzo: leaving the village, there is a path leading upwards among the woods/bushes. I missed this path, although I had already been here once before! I took a picture of the spot, as I was bewildered by the facts that there was no waymark there and that I didn’t make that mistake last time around!? Only when I was examining the photo later that day, I saw the corner of the mojón, hidden behind the bushes. So a warning here in summer: if the mojón is overgrown, you will most likely continue on the larger road, missing the dirt path that goes upwards among the hills.

About Villavieja: There are many wooden signs about an albergue before entering Villavieja so apparently they have one up and running now. I didn’t see it from where I walked through the village so I don’t know where it is located. Neither was there any sign of the infamous mastiff that scares pilgrims en masse.

I might add right away: this is the Camino of the Doggies. There are dogs everywhere, especially on the first stage (until Las Médulas), often unchained. I was going to count them this time, but I gave up when I got to about 15 already in the morning. But none of them was aggressive. They seemed very well educated! Some of them approached me to greet me or to sniff at my legs; calmly, without any snarls or other aggressive behavior. There were no problems at all. (Although on subsequent stages I would meet some of the more aggressive specimens. But it is all just for showing off: they never even touched me.)

About Puente de Domingo Florez: My end for the day. I stayed in Hostal La Torre, as I did in 2015. The easiest way to get there is to turn right, just as you come down from the hills. Follow the road, emerge on the N-536 and after a few minutes the Hostal La Torre appears on your left. I write this because, in 2015, I lost a lot of time running around in town looking for the hostal… Perhaps this could go into the updated guide as well.

I payed 18 euros, which is reported as being an exception in the guide. Nice surprise! Important: the phone number in the guide 987 460 589 to Hostal La Torre did not work (for me) but the other number listed in the guide did. When leaving the next day, the guide also says there may be no marking at the Día supermarket but there is a mojón!

Well that’s all for the first day. As you can see I focus on things that could be of interest for the guide, and not so much on experiences, weather, fortunes-misfortunes and so on… I hope you can make something out of it. Of course it is an extremely beautiful Camino!! I will get back to you with my notes of the second day (it will be much shorter than this post).

Byyyyye!

/Bad Pilgrim
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#3
Hi everyone,

I promised to write this for so long now… Here it comes!

Summary: I walked the Invierno this year (summer 2018) between July 19 and July 27. That makes 9 stages which is perfect for me! But as Laurie’s Invierno guide suggests, there are several ways to change this if you want to make more or fewer stages. I stayed in the same towns as in 2015, when I walked the Invierno for the first time. I was eager to see how much had changed on this route since three years…!

I am posting this mainly to point out things that could go into the next version of the Camino de Invierno guide! Just tag along and feel free to comment!

July 18 – Arrival to Ponferrada by bus

I had previously finished my Camino Mozárabe (from Almería) in Mérida. I decided to take the bus between Mérida and Ponferrada to start the Camino de Invierno for a second time. The bus departed from Mérida about 01:30 a.m. (gasp!). Needless to say, I was the only traveler waiting for the bus at the dark, spooky backyard of the Mérida bus station in the middle of the night.

Ponferrada: I had been to Ponferrada many times before and I am always keen on checking out new albergues or other places to stay. So, this time I opted for the private albergue Guiana. It is very easy to find. Whether you come walking from the bus station in Ponferrada or from the Camino Francés, you will certainly stumble upon it. It is placed at about an equal distance between the medieval castle and the municipal albergue on the Camino Francés. Very clean and modern, looking as if it was built yesterday. A breakfast as if it was a buffé in a hotel (although centered on the sweet stuff: bread, jam, fruit, berries, cereals… and almost nothing salty. The staff pointed this out to me as some pilgrims prefer salty things for breakfast). Breakfast +5 euros, washing machine +5 euros. I don’t remember the price for the actual stay, but since it is a private albergue I guess it was some 10-15 euros. What more can I say? Very friendly staff as well. I am definitely coming back! :OD

About Priaranza del Bierzo: leaving the village, there is a path leading upwards among the woods/bushes. I missed this path, although I had already been here once before! I took a picture of the spot, as I was bewildered by the facts that there was no waymark there and that I didn’t make that mistake last time around!? Only when I was examining the photo later that day, I saw the corner of the mojón, hidden behind the bushes. So a warning here in summer: if the mojón is overgrown, you will most likely continue on the larger road, missing the dirt path that goes upwards among the hills.

About Villavieja: There are many wooden signs about an albergue before entering Villavieja so apparently they have one up and running now. I didn’t see it from where I walked through the village so I don’t know where it is located. Neither was there any sign of the infamous mastiff that scares pilgrims en masse.

I might add right away: this is the Camino of the Doggies. There are dogs everywhere, especially on the first stage (until Las Médulas), often unchained. I was going to count them this time, but I gave up when I got to about 15 already in the morning. But none of them was aggressive. They seemed very well educated! Some of them approached me to greet me or to sniff at my legs; calmly, without any snarls or other aggressive behavior. There were no problems at all. (Although on subsequent stages I would meet some of the more aggressive specimens. But it is all just for showing off: they never even touched me.)

About Puente de Domingo Florez: My end for the day. I stayed in Hostal La Torre, as I did in 2015. The easiest way to get there is to turn right, just as you come down from the hills. Follow the road, emerge on the N-536 and after a few minutes the Hostal La Torre appears on your left. I write this because, in 2015, I lost a lot of time running around in town looking for the hostal… Perhaps this could go into the updated guide as well.

I payed 18 euros, which is reported as being an exception in the guide. Nice surprise! Important: the phone number in the guide 987 460 589 to Hostal La Torre did not work (for me) but the other number listed in the guide did. When leaving the next day, the guide also says there may be no marking at the Día supermarket but there is a mojón!

Well that’s all for the first day. As you can see I focus on things that could be of interest for the guide, and not so much on experiences, weather, fortunes-misfortunes and so on… I hope you can make something out of it. Of course it is an extremely beautiful Camino!! I will get back to you with my notes of the second day (it will be much shorter than this post).

Byyyyye!

/Bad Pilgrim
Thank you so much for sharing. I enjoyed reading it since I'm planning to walk the Invierno some day in the future. I understand your reasons for not including experience etc. But allow me to suggest a picture or two of the days walking route. It would give the reader an idea of the path, the surroundings and the "walkability" of it....hope you understand my lingo.....Buon Camino 👍
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP
April 2016, August 2017, May 2018
Camino PortuGUESE
May 2019
#4
Hi everyone,

I promised to write this for so long now… Here it comes!

Summary: I walked the Invierno this year (summer 2018) between July 19 and July 27. That makes 9 stages which is perfect for me! But as Laurie’s Invierno guide suggests, there are several ways to change this if you want to make more or fewer stages. I stayed in the same towns as in 2015, when I walked the Invierno for the first time. I was eager to see how much had changed on this route since three years…!

I am posting this mainly to point out things that could go into the next version of the Camino de Invierno guide! Just tag along and feel free to comment!

July 18 – Arrival to Ponferrada by bus

I had previously finished my Camino Mozárabe (from Almería) in Mérida. I decided to take the bus between Mérida and Ponferrada to start the Camino de Invierno for a second time. The bus departed from Mérida about 01:30 a.m. (gasp!). Needless to say, I was the only traveler waiting for the bus at the dark, spooky backyard of the Mérida bus station in the middle of the night.

Ponferrada: I had been to Ponferrada many times before and I am always keen on checking out new albergues or other places to stay. So, this time I opted for the private albergue Guiana. It is very easy to find. Whether you come walking from the bus station in Ponferrada or from the Camino Francés, you will certainly stumble upon it. It is placed at about an equal distance between the medieval castle and the municipal albergue on the Camino Francés. Very clean and modern, looking as if it was built yesterday. A breakfast as if it was a buffé in a hotel (although centered on the sweet stuff: bread, jam, fruit, berries, cereals… and almost nothing salty. The staff pointed this out to me as some pilgrims prefer salty things for breakfast). Breakfast +5 euros, washing machine +5 euros. I don’t remember the price for the actual stay, but since it is a private albergue I guess it was some 10-15 euros. What more can I say? Very friendly staff as well. I am definitely coming back! :OD

About Priaranza del Bierzo: leaving the village, there is a path leading upwards among the woods/bushes. I missed this path, although I had already been here once before! I took a picture of the spot, as I was bewildered by the facts that there was no waymark there and that I didn’t make that mistake last time around!? Only when I was examining the photo later that day, I saw the corner of the mojón, hidden behind the bushes. So a warning here in summer: if the mojón is overgrown, you will most likely continue on the larger road, missing the dirt path that goes upwards among the hills.

About Villavieja: There are many wooden signs about an albergue before entering Villavieja so apparently they have one up and running now. I didn’t see it from where I walked through the village so I don’t know where it is located. Neither was there any sign of the infamous mastiff that scares pilgrims en masse.

I might add right away: this is the Camino of the Doggies. There are dogs everywhere, especially on the first stage (until Las Médulas), often unchained. I was going to count them this time, but I gave up when I got to about 15 already in the morning. But none of them was aggressive. They seemed very well educated! Some of them approached me to greet me or to sniff at my legs; calmly, without any snarls or other aggressive behavior. There were no problems at all. (Although on subsequent stages I would meet some of the more aggressive specimens. But it is all just for showing off: they never even touched me.)

About Puente de Domingo Florez: My end for the day. I stayed in Hostal La Torre, as I did in 2015. The easiest way to get there is to turn right, just as you come down from the hills. Follow the road, emerge on the N-536 and after a few minutes the Hostal La Torre appears on your left. I write this because, in 2015, I lost a lot of time running around in town looking for the hostal… Perhaps this could go into the updated guide as well.

I payed 18 euros, which is reported as being an exception in the guide. Nice surprise! Important: the phone number in the guide 987 460 589 to Hostal La Torre did not work (for me) but the other number listed in the guide did. When leaving the next day, the guide also says there may be no marking at the Día supermarket but there is a mojón!

Well that’s all for the first day. As you can see I focus on things that could be of interest for the guide, and not so much on experiences, weather, fortunes-misfortunes and so on… I hope you can make something out of it. Of course it is an extremely beautiful Camino!! I will get back to you with my notes of the second day (it will be much shorter than this post).

Byyyyye!

/Bad Pilgrim
Must just comment on how good Guiana is.....only about 8 (?)to a room with ensuite....and the huge bike room down the bottom room near laundry with fixing benches for repairs...no wonder it got awards....loved it in 2017.......love your nickname too.... Love
 
Camino(s) past & future
Have completed through Agosta
#5
Hi everyone,

I promised to write this for so long now… Here it comes!

Summary: I walked the Invierno this year (summer 2018) between July 19 and July 27. That makes 9 stages which is perfect for me! But as Laurie’s Invierno guide suggests, there are several ways to change this if you want to make more or fewer stages. I stayed in the same towns as in 2015, when I walked the Invierno for the first time. I was eager to see how much had changed on this route since three years…!

I am posting this mainly to point out things that could go into the next version of the Camino de Invierno guide! Just tag along and feel free to comment!

July 18 – Arrival to Ponferrada by bus

I had previously finished my Camino Mozárabe (from Almería) in Mérida. I decided to take the bus between Mérida and Ponferrada to start the Camino de Invierno for a second time. The bus departed from Mérida about 01:30 a.m. (gasp!). Needless to say, I was the only traveler waiting for the bus at the dark, spooky backyard of the Mérida bus station in the middle of the night.

Ponferrada: I had been to Ponferrada many times before and I am always keen on checking out new albergues or other places to stay. So, this time I opted for the private albergue Guiana. It is very easy to find. Whether you come walking from the bus station in Ponferrada or from the Camino Francés, you will certainly stumble upon it. It is placed at about an equal distance between the medieval castle and the municipal albergue on the Camino Francés. Very clean and modern, looking as if it was built yesterday. A breakfast as if it was a buffé in a hotel (although centered on the sweet stuff: bread, jam, fruit, berries, cereals… and almost nothing salty. The staff pointed this out to me as some pilgrims prefer salty things for breakfast). Breakfast +5 euros, washing machine +5 euros. I don’t remember the price for the actual stay, but since it is a private albergue I guess it was some 10-15 euros. What more can I say? Very friendly staff as well. I am definitely coming back! :OD

About Priaranza del Bierzo: leaving the village, there is a path leading upwards among the woods/bushes. I missed this path, although I had already been here once before! I took a picture of the spot, as I was bewildered by the facts that there was no waymark there and that I didn’t make that mistake last time around!? Only when I was examining the photo later that day, I saw the corner of the mojón, hidden behind the bushes. So a warning here in summer: if the mojón is overgrown, you will most likely continue on the larger road, missing the dirt path that goes upwards among the hills.

About Villavieja: There are many wooden signs about an albergue before entering Villavieja so apparently they have one up and running now. I didn’t see it from where I walked through the village so I don’t know where it is located. Neither was there any sign of the infamous mastiff that scares pilgrims en masse.

I might add right away: this is the Camino of the Doggies. There are dogs everywhere, especially on the first stage (until Las Médulas), often unchained. I was going to count them this time, but I gave up when I got to about 15 already in the morning. But none of them was aggressive. They seemed very well educated! Some of them approached me to greet me or to sniff at my legs; calmly, without any snarls or other aggressive behavior. There were no problems at all. (Although on subsequent stages I would meet some of the more aggressive specimens. But it is all just for showing off: they never even touched me.)

About Puente de Domingo Florez: My end for the day. I stayed in Hostal La Torre, as I did in 2015. The easiest way to get there is to turn right, just as you come down from the hills. Follow the road, emerge on the N-536 and after a few minutes the Hostal La Torre appears on your left. I write this because, in 2015, I lost a lot of time running around in town looking for the hostal… Perhaps this could go into the updated guide as well.

I payed 18 euros, which is reported as being an exception in the guide. Nice surprise! Important: the phone number in the guide 987 460 589 to Hostal La Torre did not work (for me) but the other number listed in the guide did. When leaving the next day, the guide also says there may be no marking at the Día supermarket but there is a mojón!

Well that’s all for the first day. As you can see I focus on things that could be of interest for the guide, and not so much on experiences, weather, fortunes-misfortunes and so on… I hope you can make something out of it. Of course it is an extremely beautiful Camino!! I will get back to you with my notes of the second day (it will be much shorter than this post).

Byyyyye!

/Bad Pilgrim
Is it possible to post a link to Laurie's guide? May do this one afet Ovidado in summer. Thanks
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#7
July 20: Puente de Domingo Florez – A Rúa

I forgot to mention that I met quite a few other pilgrims on my first stage: a young man and a woman and a handful of cyclists that were clearly pilgrims. So I saw more pilgrims during that first stage, than I did during the whole Camino three years ago (when I didn’t meet anyone!!). I talked for a while with the young couple, but I wouldn’t see them again. This second day, however, I was completely alone again, all the way from Puente de Domingo Flórez to A Rúa.

About leaving Puente de Domingo Flórez: No problems, at least coming from the Hostal La Torre! Watch out for the mojón at the Día Supermarket a few hundred meters from the hostal, and you will be on your way. If the guide lists any difficulties here, I didn’t encounter any of them.

About O Barco de Valdeorras: In 2015 I wasn’t sure about how to leave this town. Now there are arrows taking you down to the riverside walk; across the small wooden bridge and then aaall the way to Arcos. I even spotted where I made the wrong turn last time. I think the discussion about the O Barco bypass in the guide could be ended by now. For pilgrims following the river and eventually passing the small, wooden bridge there is no way of getting lost anymore. Although I never stayed for the night here, so I don’t know about the marking further back in town, to and from the albergue/hostales.

About A Rúa de Valdeorras: My end for the day. In A Rúa I stayed in Pensión Fabio just like I did three years ago: 25 euros, hotel-style. Luxury! It is located at the end of the main street, so it means some ten minutes to walk back to the central parts of A Rúa if you want to explore the town. The easiest way to get there is of course to stay on the road once you enter A Rúa. I write this because after entering town there are waymarks that want you to turn right to get to the albergue Casa da Solaina, which is also an option. And there are several other pensions in A Rúa.

I failed to stay at Casa da Solaina three years ago and only spoke to the hospitalera by phone. Her mother had turned ill so they were both at the hospital, and she redirected me to Pensión Fabio. Nowadays I always rely on hostals when it is possible, so no albergue for me this time either… According to three guys from Madrid who would stay at the albergue the same day, I did the right choice… But more about that in my next post.

Hang on!

/Bad Pilgrim
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#8
Thank you so much for sharing. I enjoyed reading it since I'm planning to walk the Invierno some day in the future. I understand your reasons for not including experience etc. But allow me to suggest a picture or two of the days walking route. It would give the reader an idea of the path, the surroundings and the "walkability" of it....hope you understand my lingo.....Buon Camino 👍
Hi Torben,

I have tried to attach pictures but have never managed to upload! The file is always "too large" and I don't know what to do :O(

/BP
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#9
No problem but thank you for trying 😊
By the way someone just mentioned to me, that the Gronze homepage has pictures for each stage of the Camino including the Invierno. I didn't know that, so I looked there instead.
It appears to be a very beautiful camino. And it must be stunning in the autumn with all the colours.....
I wish you a buon Camino and thanks again for the effort and sharing 👍
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#10
July 20: Puente de Domingo Florez – A Rúa

I forgot to mention that I met quite a few other pilgrims on my first stage: a young man and a woman and a handful of cyclists that were clearly pilgrims. So I saw more pilgrims during that first stage, than I did during the whole Camino three years ago (when I didn’t meet anyone!!). I talked for a while with the young couple, but I wouldn’t see them again. This second day, however, I was completely alone again, all the way from Puente de Domingo Flórez to A Rúa.

About leaving Puente de Domingo Flórez: No problems, at least coming from the Hostal La Torre! Watch out for the mojón at the Día Supermarket a few hundred meters from the hostal, and you will be on your way. If the guide lists any difficulties here, I didn’t encounter any of them.

About O Barco de Valdeorras: In 2015 I wasn’t sure about how to leave this town. Now there are arrows taking you down to the riverside walk; across the small wooden bridge and then aaall the way to Arcos. I even spotted where I made the wrong turn last time. I think the discussion about the O Barco bypass in the guide could be ended by now. For pilgrims following the river and eventually passing the small, wooden bridge there is no way of getting lost anymore. Although I never stayed for the night here, so I don’t know about the marking further back in town, to and from the albergue/hostales.

About A Rúa de Valdeorras: My end for the day. In A Rúa I stayed in Pensión Fabio just like I did three years ago: 25 euros, hotel-style. Luxury! It is located at the end of the main street, so it means some ten minutes to walk back to the central parts of A Rúa if you want to explore the town. The easiest way to get there is of course to stay on the road once you enter A Rúa. I write this because after entering town there are waymarks that want you to turn right to get to the albergue Casa Solana, which is also an option. And there are several other pensions in A Rúa.

I failed to stay at Casa Solana three years ago and only spoke to the hospitalera by phone. Her mother had turned ill so they were both at the hospital, and she redirected me to Pensión Fabio. Nowadays I always rely on hostals when it is possible, so no albergue for me this time either… According to three guys from Madrid who would stay at the albergue the same day, I did the right choice… But more about that in my next post.

Hang on!

/Bad Pilgrim
Do you have an email for Pension Fabio? I've been trying to setup my accommodations for our April trip and I can't find anything but a phone number. I would like to avoid Casa Solana if possible.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#12
Here’s what I have found on the web: https://pensionfabio.es/
I sent an email. We need a room for Easter Monday. I’m only making reservations from the start date the Wednesday prior through Monday. I’m guessing after this it shouldn’t be necessary since Easter holidays will be over.
Although I’m still waiting for some to respond from As Medulas and I guess I’ll the albergue in Villavieja to see if they take reservations. I’ve also sent a request to the pension that you mentioned in your guide that is in Villavieja. Those 2 places are my problem right now.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#13
Do you have an email for Pension Fabio? I've been trying to setup my accommodations for our April trip and I can't find anything but a phone number. I would like to avoid Casa Solana if possible.[/QUOTE

Pension Fabio never answered my mail. Hostal Niza was OK, familybusiness I think, the daughter spoke a bit English when I called to book.
 
#14
I sent an email. We need a room for Easter Monday. I’m only making reservations from the start date the Wednesday prior through Monday. I’m guessing after this it shouldn’t be necessary since Easter holidays will be over.
Although I’m still waiting for some to respond from As Medulas and I guess I’ll the albergue in Villavieja to see if they take reservations. I’ve also sent a request to the pension that you mentioned in your guide that is in Villavieja. Those 2 places are my problem right now.
I have just called and spoken with the owner of the Pensión. He says he will take reservations by phone, but one week in advance. And then added “como mucho, como mucho, quince días.”

I am happy to call on behalf of any forum members who want to reserve. Phone is (international code is from US)
011 34 636 897 217
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#15
I have just called and spoken with the owner of the Pensión. He says he will take reservations by phone, but one week in advance. And then added “como mucho, como mucho, quince días.”

I am happy to call on behalf of any forum members who want to reserve. Phone is (international code is from US)
011 34 636 897 217
Thanks, the one less call to make . I appreciate it. I’m fluent in Spanish so I call when the time comes. It’s just a problem now because I’m at work all day and my cell phone doesn’t cover international calls. So I have to wait to call from home. And...I’m 4 hours behind Eastern time on top of that :)

Waiting a week out makes me nervous. I may end up having to skip the entire Ponferrada to As Medulas stages and just start walking from there.
 
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#16
Thanks, the one less call to make . I appreciate it. I’m fluent in Spanish so I call when the time comes. It’s just a problem now because I’m at work all day and my cell phone doesn’t cover international calls. So I have to wait to call from home. And...I’m 4 hours behind Eastern time on top of that :)

Waiting a week out makes me nervous. I may end up having to skip the entire Ponferrada to As Medulas stages and just start walking from there.
I think that if you explain the special circumstances, i.e., Camino plus Semana Santa and Pascua, he will take your reservation. At least, that has typically been my experience in the past.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#17
July 21: A Rúa – Quiroga
This is my favorite stage on the Camino de Invierno!! I could write all day about how much I like this stage, but it would be of no interest for the Guide, ha ha. Anyway, I don’t have much details to add, because it’s all there in the Guide already. Just a few observations:

About Montefurado: Three years ago I walked the 26 kms between A Rúa and Quiroga without any possibility to have even the tiniest cup of coffee. So I headed out from A Rúa again, prepared to repeat the experience. This time, as I walked through the semi-abandoned village of Montefurado, the door next to the fountain was open… the Centro Social! I couldn’t resist: I put on my most humble pilgrim-smile and asked them for a cup of coffee. I am not entirely sure about how to approach these places: it was obviously not a bar, but hey, they had some hot water and Nescafé… So you never know: even on this desolate stage, salvation may appear when you least expect it.

Quiroga: My goal for the day. I refused to stay at the municipal albergue, where the Spanish Association of Vocally Disturbed Teenagers regularly checks in for Summer camp. I ran past the building as fast as I could. I had already booked Hostal Quiper, a room for 20 euros according to the Guide; I paid 17 euros! The phone number in the Guide didn’t work for me; I looked it up on the Internet and phoned 982428451 instead. The owner/hospitalera is very friendly. I ran into her one more time in the evening in the adjacent bar. She introduced me to, uhm, everyone that was there or who walked by because she seemed to know everyone living in Quiroga.

I caught up with three Spanish guys from Madrid just before Montefurado. We would see each other every day for about one week, as they were walking the same stages as me. They would tell me that they had stayed in the albergue municipal in Quiroga – luckily without meeting any of the vocally challenged teenagers – and they were very happy with this place. They told me they had not liked Casa da Solaina in A Rúa the night before. To make a long story short – because a long story it was – they did not share the hospitalera’s interest in homeopathy. One topic of their conversation was cancer (go figure). Oh, it is of no interest for the revision of the Guide but I thought it was interesting to hear an opinion about an albergue. Although it is not my own experience, but the experience of others. If this is inappropriate or anything, I will delete the information! Feel free to comment.

/BP
 
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#18
Hi everyone,

About Priaranza del Bierzo: leaving the village, there is a path leading upwards among the woods/bushes. I missed this path, although I had already been here once before! I took a picture of the spot, as I was bewildered by the facts that there was no waymark there and that I didn’t make that mistake last time around!? Only when I was examining the photo later that day, I saw the corner of the mojón, hidden behind the bushes. So a warning here in summer: if the mojón is overgrown, you will most likely continue on the larger road, missing the dirt path that goes upwards among the hills.

/Bad Pilgrim
Hi, BP,
Thanks for the updates. I have a question about leaving Priaranza. I am not sure that we took any off-road path either, because the guide talks about seeing the Mirador de Santallo (scenic overlook down on the Bierzo valley and some cliffs). Do you know where this path re-joins the road? How far out of Priaranza is the turn-off.

And I think I have solved the conflicting info about prices in Hostal Torre. 18 is for shared bath single room, 20 is for private bath single room. And I will certainly change the phone numbers you have corrected. That’s very very helpful!
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
#19
Re Hostal Torre - I paid 18 euros last year for a single room with private bath!!!;)
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#22
Hi, BP,
Thanks for the updates. I have a question about leaving Priaranza. I am not sure that we took any off-road path either, because the guide talks about seeing the Mirador de Santallo (scenic overlook down on the Bierzo valley and some cliffs). Do you know where this path re-joins the road? How far out of Priaranza is the turn-off.

And I think I have solved the conflicting info about prices in Hostal Torre. 18 is for shared bath single room, 20 is for private bath single room. And I will certainly change the phone numbers you have corrected. That’s very very helpful!
Sorry, my fault : it is more of a road than a path. The guide is correct! The only problem is that you will miss the turn, if the mojón is overgrown! There is no new alternative here.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#23
July 22: Quiroga – Monforte de Lemos

Leaving Quiroga… and all the way to Monforte de Lemos: Nothing to declare. The Guide is accurate. I learned already in 2015 that it is unnecessary to walk the extra distance through the adjacent town of San Clodio in the morning, so I saved a few meters.

About Monforte de Lemos: Regarding the dirt path between Reigada and Monforte de Lemos… The Guide says this is a tricky part since there is always water and mud here. That is correct, but at least back in 2015 I managed to push through. This time I tried to thread, jump and walk on the tip of my toes for the first 50 or 100 meters. I’m quite stubborn and usually not give up when it comes to push through unfriendly terrain on a Camino, but eventually the whole path was filled with mud. First I refused to change direction, trying to walk next to the path, on the other side of a barbed wire. (It took me a while to find an opening in the barbed wire.) Then there was a wall of thick grass and bushes separating two fields that I had to cross… It seemed impossible to me, there was no way of getting round this. I gave up and backtracked to the road again. I used Google maps on my phone and turned to the right (that is: at the start of the dirt path, I turned right instead) and followed what seemed to be the shortest alternative way into Monforte. I guess I added some kms to the stage, but it was the only option.

The first hundred meters were actually very pleasant, as I was walking next to an irrigation canal with crystal clear water. I just wanted to dive right into it to cool down…! Soon after I entered some sort of suburb to Monforte de Lemos, a real slog, and finally I turned left to get into town.

As I crossed the railway tracks and was moving closer to the central parts of Monforte, old yellow arrows appeared on the ground! There were even blue-and-yellow ceramic ones on the sidewalk. Apparently, some alternative Camino has existed here before because I could spot several of them. I suppose this is an older version of the Camino from 2008 that is mentioned in the Guide. Anyway, from the point where I left the dirt path, there is no official re-routing. The Guide talks about efforts to re-route the Camino, but until this summer of 2018 this has not yet happened.

One of the guys from Madrid was already waiting for me outside the Pensión Miño (20 euros, recommended). He had arrived by taxi. He told me that his two friends would arrive soon: they had pushed through the mud! Perhaps it wasn’t impossible after all. He said they had mud up to their calves... Well, I walk in light runners (!) so wading through there should not have been pleasant. Nor waiting for my shoes to be clean or to dry… Overall impression: all the paths on this Camino were muddier than in 2015. There had definitely been raining more than three years ago.

It was Sunday and every store and supermarket was closed. There was a gas station just around the corner of the Pensión Miño where I could buy stuff for the next stage, but the rest of the town was dead. (There are bars and restaurants to have dinner, of course.) Take note, future Sunday Pilgrims.

Coming up next: Chantada!
 
#24
Your experience also explains why I didn’t remember the mud from my first Invierno but got into it on my second — the route change must have added the mud and taken away the railway tracks! I definitely remember that the first time I walked, the camino went past the railway station and then on a long sidewak walk through town. That means that those pensiones near the railroad station were at one time right on the camino. It is about 1.5 km from the station to central Monforte, but it sure seemed a lot longer when I was slogging in in the blazing sun.

Any other info on the road aternative that avoids the mud would be great, because it seems to be a permanent feature.

I did a google maps search from Rairos (the last little hamlet mentioned in the guide before Monforte) to Monforte, and I can see that the train tracks do impose a barrier. There is no crossing once they widen till the crossing in centra Monforte that the camino now uses.

I have no memory of where in that stretch before the tracks the mud might be.
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#25
Your experience also explains why I didn’t remember the mud from my first Invierno but got into it on my second — the route change must have added the mud and taken away the railway tracks! I definitely remember that the first time I walked, the camino went past the railway station and then on a long sidewak walk through town. That means that those pensiones near the railroad station were at one time right on the camino. It is about 1.5 km from the station to central Monforte, but it sure seemed a lot longer when I was slogging in in the blazing sun.

Any other info on the road aternative that avoids the mud would be great, because it seems to be a permanent feature.

I did a google maps search from Rairos (the last little hamlet mentioned in the guide before Monforte) to Monforte, and I can see that the train tracks do impose a barrier. There is no crossing once they widen till the crossing in centra Monforte that the camino now uses.

I have no memory of where in that stretch before the tracks the mud might be.
I looked it up on Google maps. I backtracked in my mind, from the pension Miño, and I believe I can make out on the map the way from where I came. Although I am not sure about the exact spot of the entrance to the mud path.

I would advice any future traveller to turn right at that spot, and continue on the asphalt next to an irrigation canal until you reach a roundabout, and then continue left... That is when the first houses of Monforte begin. There is one more sharp turn to the left in order to walk straight into Monforte. Ugh, that is too vague to be in the guide. It is like... If you use Google maps it all about following the shortest road to reach Monforte (except for the mud path which of course is shorter). I don't think I should ever write a Camino guide... :0(
 

owms2323

Credential question
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances (2014) Camino Frances (2016) Camino Finisterre/Muxia (2017)
#26
Hi everyone,

I promised to write this for so long now… Here it comes!

Summary: I walked the Invierno this year (summer 2018) between July 19 and July 27. That makes 9 stages which is perfect for me! But as Laurie’s Invierno guide suggests, there are several ways to change this if you want to make more or fewer stages. I stayed in the same towns as in 2015, when I walked the Invierno for the first time. I was eager to see how much had changed on this route since three years…!

I am posting this mainly to point out things that could go into the next version of the Camino de Invierno guide! Just tag along and feel free to comment!

July 18: Arrival to Ponferrada by bus

I had previously finished my Camino Mozárabe (from Almería) in Mérida. I decided to take the bus between Mérida and Ponferrada to start the Camino de Invierno for a second time. The bus departed from Mérida about 01:30 a.m. (gasp!). Needless to say, I was the only traveler waiting for the bus at the dark, spooky backyard of the Mérida bus station in the middle of the night.

July 19: Beginning from Ponferrada: I had been to Ponferrada many times before and I am always keen on checking out new albergues or other places to stay. So, this time I opted for the private albergue Guiana. It is very easy to find. Whether you come walking from the bus station in Ponferrada or from the Camino Francés, you will certainly stumble upon it. It is placed at about an equal distance between the medieval castle and the municipal albergue on the Camino Francés. Very clean and modern, looking as if it was built yesterday. A breakfast as if it was a buffé in a hotel (although centered on the sweet stuff: bread, jam, fruit, berries, cereals… and almost nothing salty. The staff pointed this out to me as some pilgrims prefer salty things for breakfast). Breakfast +5 euros, washing machine +5 euros. I don’t remember the price for the actual stay, but since it is a private albergue I guess it was some 10-15 euros. What more can I say? Very friendly staff as well. I am definitely coming back! :OD

About Priaranza del Bierzo: leaving the village, there is a path leading upwards among the woods/bushes. I missed this path, although I had already been here once before! I took a picture of the spot, as I was bewildered by the facts that there was no waymark there and that I didn’t make that mistake last time around!? Only when I was examining the photo later that day, I saw the corner of the mojón, hidden behind the bushes. So a warning here in summer: if the mojón is overgrown, you will most likely continue on the larger road, missing the dirt path that goes upwards among the hills.

About Villavieja: There are many wooden signs about an albergue before entering Villavieja so apparently they have one up and running now. I didn’t see it from where I walked through the village so I don’t know where it is located. Neither was there any sign of the infamous mastiff that scares pilgrims en masse.

I might add right away: this is the Camino of the Doggies. There are dogs everywhere, especially on the first stage (until Las Médulas), often unchained. I was going to count them this time, but I gave up when I got to about 15 already in the morning. But none of them was aggressive. They seemed very well educated! Some of them approached me to greet me or to sniff at my legs; calmly, without any snarls or other aggressive behavior. There were no problems at all. (Although on subsequent stages I would meet some of the more aggressive specimens. But it is all just for showing off: they never even touched me.)

About Puente de Domingo Florez: My end for the day. I stayed in Hostal La Torre, as I did in 2015. The easiest way to get there is to turn right, just as you come down from the hills. Follow the road, emerge on the N-536 and after a few minutes the Hostal La Torre appears on your left. I write this because, in 2015, I lost a lot of time running around in town looking for the hostal… Perhaps this could go into the updated guide as well.

I payed 18 euros, which is reported as being an exception in the guide. Nice surprise! Important: the phone number in the guide 987 460 589 to Hostal La Torre did not work (for me) but the other number listed in the guide did. When leaving the next day, the guide also says there may be no marking at the Día supermarket but there is a mojón!

Well that’s all for the first day. As you can see I focus on things that could be of interest for the guide, and not so much on experiences, weather, fortunes-misfortunes and so on… I hope you can make something out of it. Of course it is an extremely beautiful Camino!! I will get back to you with my notes of the second day (it will be much shorter than this post).

Byyyyye!

/Bad Pilgrim
What is a mojon?
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
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#28
July 23: Monforte de Lemos - Chantada

On leaving Monforte the Lemos: The guide mentions a few things to look out for in order not to miss where/how to leave the town. I would like to add the statue of a medieval pilgrim, pointing with a cross on a stick, towards Estrada A Vide (next village). It is in the second roundabout, close to the first one with the hórreo. It is this roundabout that catapults you out of Monforte de Lemos and finally puts you on the right track towards the first hamlet of the day.

Frequent questions about the Invierno concern the amount of asphalt on this Camino. This must be the stage with the most asphalt. Apart for some stretches in the woods, and going up and down from the Miño river in Belesar, it is entirely on asphalt. Yeah yeah, not each end every step, but I would easily say that there is at least 80 % asphalt here. It is one of my least favorite stretches on the Invierno. There is a seemingly endless slog of small villages on that asphalted chunk of the Camino that precedes the descent to Belesar... And this morning there was so much fog I couldn’t see more than 50 meters in front of me. In the silence and with the shapes of the landscape disappearing around me, I became almost dizzy.

About Chantada: I stayed once again at the pension Yoel (12 euros for the cheapest option: shared bathroom). As the guide says, Yoel is a bit outdated. The furniture and overall impression is that no-one has brushed up this place since the 1980’s. But I don’t complain. It is basically clean, and I had the whole place to myself. It is run by two ladies who live in one of the apartments. Take note: there is a key to your room but not to the main entrance. You have to buzz and hope for the ladies to be at home so they can push the button and let you in. I usually walk to and from my room several times a day: I must have driven them crazy with my coming and going. The three Spaniards stayed at the Hotel Mogay and had nothing but praise for it. I have seen mixed reviews about that place but according to them, they were in heaven.

When entering Chantada, there is a bar called No río, a bit hidden from view but right next to the Camino, and next to the beautiful river. I have to give them a thumb’s up here: it was sooo cozy/modern/ friendly/beautiful, not that it was fancy or anything. Can I advertise for them by writing this?! I had a wonderful coffee there when arriving in Chantada, and I just had to walk back for another one in the afternoon! Their slogan is “The best terrace in Chantada” and I am inclined to believe them. Don’t miss it.

Add to guide: there is a laundromat in the same building as the Pensión Yoel (and thus close to the Mogay and to other places to stay). 3 euros with credit card, 3,50 euros cash. It was all automatized but even a high-tech dinosaur like me could figure out how to use it. It was a welcome surprise.

Next stop: Rodeiro!
 
#29
I would advice any future traveller to turn right at that spot, and continue on the asphalt next to an irrigation canal until you reach a roundabout, and then continue left...
Can you give me any indication of where “that spot” might be? I can also just say something like the following:

A few km outside of Monforte, you will come to a stretch that is very muddy, no matter what season it is. To avoid it if it seems impassable, you will have to backtrack. At the first road, turn left (which would be a right if you were walking towards Monforte), you will get on the road into town and come into Monforte on the old camino, which enters town near the RR station.

´This may be totally wrong, so I could also just say you should use google maps like BP did!
 
#30
BP,

Thanks for the tip on No Rio. Again according to googlemaps, it looks like it is before Mesón Lucus, which is also right on the river. Lucus used to be the most popular and heavily visited place in Chantada, but the transition to new owners seems to have lost some of the charm. If you or anyone else has been there lately, updates would be welcome. And new places to recommend as well. I suppose the No Rio doesn’t do meals, is that right?
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#31
BP,

Thanks for the tip on No Rio. Again according to googlemaps, it looks like it is before Mesón Lucus, which is also right on the river. Lucus used to be the most popular and heavily visited place in Chantada, but the transition to new owners seems to have lost some of the charm. If you or anyone else has been there lately, updates would be welcome. And new places to recommend as well. I suppose the No Rio doesn’t do meals, is that right?
I don't know about Mesón Lucus, it doesn't ring a bell with me. And I don't know about meals at the No Río, I was only out after the coffee! :O) I will ask them next time ;OD
 

Bad Pilgrim

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Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#32
Can you give me any indication of where “that spot” might be? I can also just say something like the following:

A few km outside of Monforte, you will come to a stretch that is very muddy, no matter what season it is. To avoid it if it seems impassable, you will have to backtrack. At the first road, turn left (which would be a right if you were walking towards Monforte), you will get on the road into town and come into Monforte on the old camino, which enters town near the RR station.

´This may be totally wrong, so I could also just say you should use google maps like BP did!
I checked with those satellite-google-maps-with-terrain-thingies and I zoomed in on "the spot": the mojón is there! I know exactly where I went know. Just give me some time and I can describe it in detail, but it is pretty much as you described it above. In short: you come from Reigada, pass under the motorway (you can see the tunnel on the "normal" google map) and a few hundred meters further on you turn right (to avoid the mud) at the crossroad where it says "Canal Margen izquierda" on the map!

/BP
 
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Bad Pilgrim

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#33
July 24: Chantada - Rodeiro

A call upon all pilgrims not to miss the Monte do Faro. As I had already been there, I was thinking about skipping it and explore one of the alternative ways of getting around it. Finally, I went there anyway. I couldn’t resist. The fog was even thicker than three years ago and that was what attracted me: I love walking up to the shrine in the mist. My runners and socks got soaked after just half a minute in the ice-cold, wet grass during the ascent along the wooden crosses. And I enjoyed every second of it.

The guys from Madrid were just leaving the granite shelter as I got there. After that, I had the whole area to myself. Everything was wrapped in fog and rain. Only occasionally could I make out the contours of the chapel and other objects in the surrounding. I know it must be ten times more interesting to actually experience the views from up there on a clear day, but who can resist the mist and the silence? I felt I could have stayed there forever. Oh, and I had no problems leaving the place, because I already knew how to exit and how get back on the Camino. But for an Invierno newbie caught in the fog, I think it is very good that the Guide is detailed about directions here.

There is a bar a few kms before arriving in Rodeiro: O Recanto in the little hamlet of A Feira. You have to follow an arrow to the left instead of walking straight through the hamlet. I was hesitant and didn’t understand why there was an alternative. But I saw the backpack of one of the guys from Madrid disappearing behind the corner, so I turned as well. That is how I stumbled upon the bar, which I hadn’t seen last time I was here. This was the first coffee stop since leaving Chantada and the ice-cold mist of the Monte do Faro. A warm café con leche was most welcome! Then there were less than 2 kms to Rodeiro. It felt as if I was there in a minute.

Take note: Fellow pilgrim Laurie recently wrote in another thread: “Years ago, the Camino went through the little hamlets of A Feira and Leboro, but I think it has been re-routed.” I don’t think so: I remember following the waymarks through the hamlets in 2015, and now also in 2018. I have seen no other arrows in the vicinity!

About Rodeiro: I wanted to stay at the Hostal O Guerra (best food on the Camino de Invierno!). But it was closed, so all pilgrims checked in at the Hostal Carpinteiro a few hundred meters further away. 20 euros for a single room. I remember being somewhat disappointed with the room and that 20 euros was a bit much for this kind of lodging. For example, I had the impression that my bathroom was falling apart around me. As for the food, I didn’t have dinner there, so I don’t know if it can compete with the O Guerra. But the O Guerra is located centrally in town, and I got a bit frustrated about having to walk back and forth between the center and the O Carpinteiro as soon as I had some errands to run… Sorry, I still prefer the Hostal O Guerra!

The Carpinteiro being the only game in town made me able to count the number of pilgrims on the Camino at that moment. I think there were nine pilgrims staying at the hostal. In 2015, I was alone for the entire Camino! There is certainly an increase of pilgrims on this route. I also observed how many of them sent their backpacks by taxi. I noticed this already in Monforte de Lemos, where there were five or six of us staying at the Pensión Miño. In the morning, there were at least four backpacks waiting in the reception, tagged with addresses and the taxi company that would transfer them. Also here, in Rodeiro, there was a pile of them waiting to be picked up as I sneaked out in the morning. Only one couple seemed to be elderly people, the rest of us 30-40-year-olds. So how come people can’t carry their own backpacks? This is not about me cab-shaming other pilgrims. But I would lie if I said I didn’t give it a thought. After all, I am the Bad Pilgrim, not the Good Pilgrim.

Next day was a long one, to Silleda. Don’t go anywhere!
 
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MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
#34
July 22: Quiroga – Monforte de Lemos

Leaving Quiroga… and all the way to Monforte de Lemos: Nothing to declare. The Guide is accurate. I learned already in 2015 that it is unnecessary to walk the extra distance through the adjacent town of San Clodio in the morning, so I saved a few meters.

About Monforte de Lemos: Regarding the dirt path between Reigada and Monforte de Lemos… The Guide says this is a tricky part since there is always water and mud here. That is correct, but at least back in 2015 I managed to push through. This time I tried to thread, jump and walk on the tip of my toes for the first 50 or 100 meters. I’m quite stubborn and usually not give up when it comes to push through unfriendly terrain on a Camino, but eventually the whole path was filled with mud. First I refused to change direction, trying to walk next to the path, on the other side of a barbed wire. (It took me a while to find an opening in the barbed wire.) Then there was a wall of thick grass and bushes separating two fields that I had to cross… It seemed impossible to me, there was no way of getting round this. I gave up and backtracked to the road again. I used Google maps on my phone and turned to the right (that is: at the start of the dirt path, I turned right instead) and followed what seemed to be the shortest alternative way into Monforte. I guess I added some kms to the stage, but it was the only option.

The first hundred meters were actually very pleasant, as I was walking next to an irrigation canal with crystal clear water. I just wanted to dive right into it to cool down…! Soon after I entered some sort of suburb to Monforte de Lemos, a real slog, and finally I turned left to get into town.

As I crossed the railway tracks and was moving closer to the central parts of Monforte, old yellow arrows appeared on the ground! There were even blue-and-yellow ceramic ones on the sidewalk. Apparently, some alternative Camino has existed here before because I could spot several of them. I suppose this is an older version of the Camino from 2008 that is mentioned in the Guide. Anyway, from the point where I left the dirt path, there is no official re-routing. The Guide talks about efforts to re-route the Camino, but until this summer of 2018 this has not yet happened.

One of the guys from Madrid was already waiting for me outside the Pensión Miño (20 euros, recommended). He had arrived by taxi. He told me that his two friends would arrive soon: they had pushed through the mud! Perhaps it wasn’t impossible after all. He said they had mud up to their calves... Well, I walk in light runners (!) so wading through there should not have been pleasant. Nor waiting for my shoes to be clean or to dry… Overall impression: all the paths on this Camino were muddier than in 2015. There had definitely been raining more than three years ago.

It was Sunday and every store and supermarket was closed. There was a gas station just around the corner of the Pensión Miño where I could buy stuff for the next stage, but the rest of the town was dead. (There are bars and restaurants to have dinner, of course.) Take note, future Sunday Pilgrims.

Coming up next: Chantada!
HI BP - when I walked the Invierno in May last year for this stretch I simply wrote - Quiroga to Monforte de Lemos 35kms was a lovely walk with a few hills but nothing too strenuous, reminded me of the gentle slops up Vesuvius when I used to do the annual race. Lots of woodland and a great walk along a stream from O Pobra. Then a good green lane walk into town. Stopped at A Pobra for a coffee, luckily one cafe was open at 1100 on a Sunday. No food, not even tostadas! Still no other peregrinos seen and there were a group of 5 dogs just before Barxa rowdy but no problem.

I wonder what has changed so much as it was fairly wet the few weeks before I got there? I was using the Wise Pilgrim app for directions.
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#35
HI BP - when I walked the Invierno in May last year for this stretch I simply wrote - Quiroga to Monforte de Lemos 35kms was a lovely walk with a few hills but nothing too strenuous, reminded me of the gentle slops up Vesuvius when I used to do the annual race. Lots of woodland and a great walk along a stream from O Pobra. Then a good green lane walk into town. Stopped at A Pobra for a coffee, luckily one cafe was open at 1100 on a Sunday. No food, not even tostadas! Still no other peregrinos seen and there were a group of 5 dogs just before Barxa rowdy but no problem.

I wonder what has changed so much as it was fairly wet the few weeks before I got there? I was using the Wise Pilgrim app for directions.
I know,

I think the waterlogged part has it ebbs and flows depending on the season and previous weather, and perhaps some unknown factor as well. I could walk through there back in 2015 and, take note, two out of three Spanish pilgrims could as well this sunny day of 2018. Perhaps I shouldn't have given up so easily…!

Wise-Pilgrim App sounds interesting. Can hi-tech dinosaurs learn how to use it as well?? :Oo

/BP
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#36
@Bad Pilgrim, this 70 year old hi-tech dinosaur managed the Wise - Pilgrim App easily.
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#37
Your experience also explains why I didn’t remember the mud from my first Invierno but got into it on my second — the route change must have added the mud and taken away the railway tracks! I definitely remember that the first time I walked, the camino went past the railway station and then on a long sidewak walk through town. That means that those pensiones near the railroad station were at one time right on the camino. It is about 1.5 km from the station to central Monforte, but it sure seemed a lot longer when I was slogging in in the blazing sun.

Any other info on the road aternative that avoids the mud would be great, because it seems to be a permanent feature.

I did a google maps search from Rairos (the last little hamlet mentioned in the guide before Monforte) to Monforte, and I can see that the train tracks do impose a barrier. There is no crossing once they widen till the crossing in centra Monforte that the camino now uses.

I have no memory of where in that stretch before the tracks the mud might be.
Laurie,

I just send you a PM about this - or so I think. I hope I pushed the right button. I don't usually use that function on the Forum. High-tech dinosaur... :O(

/BP
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#38
Thank you so much for sharing. I enjoyed reading it since I'm planning to walk the Invierno some day in the future. I understand your reasons for not including experience etc. But allow me to suggest a picture or two of the days walking route. It would give the reader an idea of the path, the surroundings and the "walkability" of it....hope you understand my lingo.....Buon Camino 👍
Hi, Torben,

Here's the link to my day by day journal on Invierno with GPS tracks (better use it with a pinch of salt because sometimes I improvised a bit and didn't follow route 100%) and a lot of photos from 2014. As I know from other posters that walked this route after me it didn't change much in 4 years so it will give you a general impression of the nature, villages etc.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/my-camino-de-invierno-july-2014.25355/

Happy planning :)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#39
Hi, BP,
Thanks for the updates. I have a question about leaving Priaranza. I am not sure that we took any off-road path either, because the guide talks about seeing the Mirador de Santallo (scenic overlook down on the Bierzo valley and some cliffs). Do you know where this path re-joins the road? How far out of Priaranza is the turn-off. ...
Maybe I can be of some help here.
There is a short off-road stretch after Priaranza. But let's start with approaching the village. After coming from Villalibre de la Jurisdicion and left turn onto N-536 very soon you can either stay on the highway or take the first right turn into Calle el Corro and through the village. Continue straight (to the right after more than 1km is very welcoming bar) and at the end of the village the Camino continues on Calle Real Urbia. After another 1km of off-road walking (this is the off-road BP mentioned) you are on N-536 again and soon there's Mirador Santalla del Bierzo.

More here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/my-camino-de-invierno-july-2014.25355/
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#40
July 25: Rodeiro - Silleda

Nothing special to report. Except that there is a lot of dogs on the stretch between Rodeiro and Lalín. Another hamlet, three more dogs, every time. I believe I was the first one to leave the hostal Carpinteiro from Rodeiro so I guess I was also the first one to stir them up in the morning. With nine pilgrims leaving from Rodeiro, and with an ever-increasing number of Invierno pilgrims in general, I wonder how long those dogs will keep up the barking.

The 20 kilometers between Rodeiro and Lalín are desolate and peaceful. I arrived sound and safe in Lalín, but I had decided to push on all the way to Silleda. It is a long way, but I have done it before. When I left Lalín, I remembered I had some troubles with the Camino three years ago, so I wanted to straighten it out with the Guide.

Once again, I had trouble finding the beginning of the river walk in Lalín. I followed the directions in the guide until the monument of the famous aviator. After that I lost my way, as usual. A few faded arrows finally made me descend to the river walk. If I hadn’t found it, I could easily have asked someone so it is not a big deal. I guess the Guide is correct… I think I am just directionally challenged!

I also thought a lot about how to leave the river walk. Three years ago I only saw an old, almost invisible arrow on a pole that finally took me off the Paseo Fluvial. I thought I was totally wrong, but a few minutes later I ended up on the N-525. Now, in 2018, someone has put two large granite waymarks that tell you how and when to leave the river! Excellent. One of them at a small bridge, in case you have followed the river walk on the left side, and another one that has substituted the wooden pole with the faded arrow. It was the same way I took three years ago! Lo and behold, I was right all along. From now on folks, no-one can miss where to end the river walk from Lalín! And it is pretty much the same way as fellow pilgrim Kinky1 followed according to his report. I just made a sharper turn before reaching the N-525 and saved a few meters, compared to his Endomondo-tracks. I can confirm that Option 1, according to the Guide, is now the official route.

Around the Hotel Torre do Deza the Camino has slightly changed. The 2018 Guide is not entirely correct anymore. It is a minor change, but it may cause confusion for an Invierno newbie. The Guide says that the Camino (both Options 1 and 2) takes you to the roundabout at the Hotel Torre do Deza. But now, when you reach the Hotel, the waymarks take you to the right onto a road that goes behind the Hotel. On Kinky1’s Endomondo-tracks, it is the road called Bergazos. Accordingly, you don’t walk by the entrance to the cafetería of the hotel anymore. You pass behind the hotel and end up further up the hill in the polígono industrial, where a granite mojón steers you onto a grassy slope between the industrial buildings. After a few hundred meters you emerge on the asphalt, turn left for a few meters and rejoin the “old” Camino on “the road going parallel to the N-525” just as the Guide says. My point is that the roundabout is now circumvented. This looks like an effort to keep pilgrims away from the N-525 as long as possible, even if it is only for 500 meters.

In the bar next to the road outside A Laxe, where pilgrims go to have a snack since there are no stores, I met with one of the Spanish guys again. They would stay in the albergue in A Laxe. The guy had taken a taxi, due to problems with his toes. We exchanged experiences about the Invierno, and about other Caminos we had already done. He said he was disappointed with the Invierno, which surprised me, but I let him talk and didn’t put up much of a resistance. We all have different opinions about the Caminos de Santiago! According to him, there were too few people walking it and the accommodations were too low on standard and too far apart.

In Silleda I had already tried the albergue Santa Olaia and the Albergue Turístico de Silleda. This time I went for the Bar Toxa and its adjacent hostal (15 euros). I found it quite disappointing. If Pensión Yoel in Chantada has an 1980’s air about it, then Toxa must have stayed in the 1970’s. (I quickly dubbed it Bar “Toxic”.) The Guide says that the hostal is “clean and modern”, hm… I found it to be a rather dark and dusty place. Not that it was filthy or anything. There was an endless number of doors, locks and gloomy hallways to conquer before entering or leaving the room, so I felt a bit like a prisoner. I concluded that I would have been better off even in the albergue Olaia: a half-empty, abandoned school-building which is super low on standard, but at least has the decency to demand only 7 euros for it. Sorry Toxic, I will have to try yet another place to stay next time that I am in Silleda!

Only two more days to Santiago!

/BP
 
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MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
#41
Interesting how differently we experience things! For my Rodeiro to Silleda last year I wrote:
Another lovely walk today which was mostly extremely well marked. The stretch at the beginning to Penerbosa would be very muddy if there had been any rain. The route into Lalin was very good as well as it avoided the road as far as possible. Also it's a nice(ish) riverside walk out but with no arrows for 4km but you just follow the path. Unfortunately, it's all a bit like a Municipal park. Passed 2 Spanish peregrinos today on the Invierno and no dog problems. Fortunately, I got to A Laxe at 1300 and all the other peregrinos on the Sanabres must have gone to the albergue as I didn't see a single one all the way to Silleda. Got to see my favourite place on all my Caminos again which is the Punta Romana about 3kms after Prado. I would love to have a swim there but cannot see a safe way down!! Now in the Grand Albergue Silleda which is 10 euros for a private single room and has a good bar attached.

Two more days? Its only 42kms to SdC……….
 
#44
July 25: Rodeiro - Silleda

Nothing special to report. Except that there is a lot of dogs on the stretch between Rodeiro and Lalín. Another hamlet, three more dogs, every time. I believe I was the first one to leave the hostal Carpinteiro from Rodeiro so I guess I was also the first one to stir them up in the morning. With nine pilgrims leaving from Rodeiro, and with an ever-increasing number of Invierno pilgrims in general, I wonder how long those dogs will keep up the barking.

The 20 kilometers between Rodeiro and Lalín are desolate and peaceful. I arrived sound and safe in Lalín, but I had decided to push on all the way to Silleda. It is a long way, but I have done it before. When I left Lalín, I remembered I had some troubles with the Camino three years ago, so I wanted to straighten it out with the Guide.

Once again, I had trouble finding the beginning of the river walk in Lalín. I followed the directions in the guide until the monument of the famous aviator. After that I lost my way, as usual. A few faded arrows finally made me descend to the river walk. If I hadn’t found it, I could easily have asked someone so it is not a big deal. I guess the Guide is correct… I think I am just directionally challenged!

I also thought a lot about how to leave the river walk. Three years ago I only saw an old, almost invisible arrow on a pole that finally took me off the Paseo Fluvial. I thought I was totally wrong, but a few minutes later I ended up on the N-525. Now, in 2018, someone has put two large granite waymarks that tell you how and when to leave the river! Excellent. One of them at a small bridge, in case you have followed the river walk on the left side, and another one that has substituted the wooden pole with the faded arrow. It was the same way I took three years ago! Lo and behold, I was right all along. From now on folks, no-one can miss where to end the river walk from Lalín! And it is pretty much the same way as fellow pilgrim Kinky1 followed according to his report. I just made a sharper turn before reaching the N-525 and saved a few meters, compared to his Endomondo-tracks. I can confirm that Option 1, according to the Guide, is now the official route.

Around the Hotel Torre do Deza the Camino has slightly changed. The 2018 Guide is not entirely correct anymore. It is a minor change, but it may cause confusion for an Invierno newbie. The Guide says that the Camino (both Options 1 and 2) takes you to the roundabout at the Hotel Torre do Deza. But now, when you reach the Hotel, the waymarks take you to the right onto a road that goes behind the Hotel. On Kinky1’s Endomondo-tracks, it is the road called Bergazos. Accordingly, you don’t walk by the entrance to the cafetería of the hotel anymore. You pass behind the hotel and end up further up the hill in the polígono industrial, where a granite mojón steers you onto a grassy slope between the industrial buildings. After a few hundred meters you emerge on the asphalt, turn left for a few meters and rejoin the “old” Camino on “the road going parallel to the N-525” just as the Guide says. My point is that the roundabout is now circumvented. This looks like an effort to keep pilgrims away from the N-525 as long as possible, even if it is only for 500 meters.

In the bar next to the road outside A Laxe, where pilgrims go to have a snack since there are no stores, I met with one of the Spanish guys again. They would stay in the albergue in A Laxe. The guy had taken a taxi, due to problems with his toes. We exchanged experiences about the Invierno, and about other Caminos we had already done. He said he was disappointed with the Invierno, which surprised me, but I let him talk and didn’t put up much of a resistance. We all have different opinions about the Caminos de Santiago! According to him, there were too few people walking it and the accommodations were too low on standard and too far apart.

In Silleda I had already tried the albergue Santa Olaia and the Albergue Turístico de Silleda. This time I went for the Bar Toxa and its adjacent hostal (15 euros). I found it quite disappointing. If Pensión Yoel in Chantada has an 1980’s air about it, then Toxa must have stayed in the 1970’s. (I quickly dubbed it Bar “Toxic”.) The Guide says that the hostal is “clean and modern”, hm… I found it to be a rather dark and dusty place. Not that it was filthy or anything. There was an endless number of doors, locks and gloomy hallways to conquer before entering or leaving the room, so I felt a bit like a prisoner. I concluded that I would have been better off even in the albergue Olaia: a half-empty, abandoned school-building which is super low on standard, but at least has the decency to demand only 7 euros for it. Sorry Toxic, I will have to try yet another place to stay next time that I am in Silleda!

Only two more days to Santiago!

/BP
Very helpful info on leaving Lalín, BP. I will work on clarification and post it. And I will incorporate your other observations and opinions as well, it is always good to hear different opinions. So would you say Albergue Turístico is fine, Santa Olaia is cheap and low quality, and Toxa is acceptable, but dark and gloomy? Just to repeat what I put in the beginning of the guide about opinions on lodging and food-- I know that people's opinions vary, but I think it is helpful to include that range of opinions. There are some places that get continuously rave reviews, some that get consistent bad reviews (like that pensión a little bit up the hill in Chantada whose name I forget) and for some it is mixed. Toxa now goes from good review to mixed review.

And I have resisted going off thread now for days, but where oh where is the Yelbes adventure? :rolleyes:
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#45
Very helpful info on leaving Lalín, BP. I will work on clarification and post it. And I will incorporate your other observations and opinions as well, it is always good to hear different opinions. So would you say Albergue Turístico is fine, Santa Olaia is cheap and low quality, and Toxa is acceptable, but dark and gloomy? Just to repeat what I put in the beginning of the guide about opinions on lodging and food-- I know that people's opinions vary, but I think it is helpful to include that range of opinions. There are some places that get continuously rave reviews, some that get consistent bad reviews (like that pensión a little bit up the hill in Chantada whose name I forget) and for some it is mixed. Toxa now goes from good review to mixed review.

And I have resisted going off thread now for days, but where oh where is the Yelbes adventure? :rolleyes:
Dark and gloomy yes, but no need to put it like this in a guide I think, because people will have different opinions. I just wanted to give mine. But yes, I wrote it to contribute to the general reviews, so I definitely think that Toxa should go from good to mixed!

I will finish the Invierno report and then pick up where I left the Moz!

I promise!

/BP
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#46
July 25: Rodeiro - Silleda
...
Once again, I had trouble finding the beginning of the river walk in Lalín. I followed the directions in the guide until the monument of the famous aviator. After that I lost my way, as usual. A few faded arrows finally made me descend to the river walk. If I hadn’t found it, I could easily have asked someone so it is not a big deal. I guess the Guide is correct… I think I am just directionally challenged!

I also thought a lot about how to leave the river walk. Three years ago I only saw an old, almost invisible arrow on a pole that finally took me off the Paseo Fluvial. I thought I was totally wrong, but a few minutes later I ended up on the N-525. Now, in 2018, someone has put two large granite waymarks that tell you how and when to leave the river! Excellent. One of them at a small bridge, in case you have followed the river walk on the left side, and another one that has substituted the wooden pole with the faded arrow. It was the same way I took three years ago! Lo and behold, I was right all along. From now on folks, no-one can miss where to end the river walk from Lalín! And it is pretty much the same way as fellow pilgrim Kinky1 followed according to his report. I just made a sharper turn before reaching the N-525 and saved a few meters, compared to his Endomondo-tracks. I can confirm that Option 1, according to the Guide, is now the official route.

Around the Hotel Torre do Deza the Camino has slightly changed. The 2018 Guide is not entirely correct anymore. It is a minor change, but it may cause confusion for an Invierno newbie. The Guide says that the Camino (both Options 1 and 2) takes you to the roundabout at the Hotel Torre do Deza. But now, when you reach the Hotel, the waymarks take you to the right onto a road that goes behind the Hotel. On Kinky1’s Endomondo-tracks, it is the road called Bergazos. Accordingly, you don’t walk by the entrance to the cafetería of the hotel anymore. You pass behind the hotel and end up further up the hill in the polígono industrial, where a granite mojón steers you onto a grassy slope between the industrial buildings. After a few hundred meters you emerge on the asphalt, turn left for a few meters and rejoin the “old” Camino on “the road going parallel to the N-525” just as the Guide says. My point is that the roundabout is now circumvented. This looks like an effort to keep pilgrims away from the N-525 as long as possible, even if it is only for 500 meters.
...
/BP
After four years I found way out of Lalin with no problems whatsoever. It depends on where you sleep but official Camino is passing the church on Praza da Igrexa and goes straight down to the aviator monument. You proceed on its left side, slightly to the right and then straight to this point where Paseo Fluvial begins:

20180520_135522.jpg

Sorry, forgot to paste Wiki-link:
https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/spatialArtifacts.do?event=setCurrentSpatialArtifact&id=25069933

Otherwise BP's description is spot on, I'll just post some photos.

This is the bridge with new mojones where you cross the creek:

20180520_142902 (RS).jpg

It's all well marked from here on. First you ascent a little to this chapel/church. At this point 4 years ago I turned right and immediately left and emerged on N-525 but now there's a small arrow on a garage left of the church:

20180520_143431 (RS).jpg

20180520_143459 (RS).jpg

Turn left and you'll be on this minor road which leads to N-525. Cross it (there's a restaurant across the highway) and turn left.

20180520_143616 (RS).jpg

After you cross N-525 and turn left there's arrow pointing to the right:

20180520_144019 (RS).jpg

Just follow the road and you'll come to a spot where previously Camino veered left down just before the hotel and ran close to N-525. Now you turn right here:

20180520_145237 (RS).jpg

Here starts the rerouted part that veers left behind the hotel:
20180520_145705 (RS).jpg

20180520_145912 (RS).jpg

20180520_150136 (RS).jpg

Only 10 photos per post. To be continued :)
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#47
At this pot you turn down left:

20180520_150616 (RS).jpg

And you'll come to this (and from the other side) on the main road through the industrial area:

20180520_150739 (RS).jpg

20180520_154832 (RS).jpg

Then just proceed straight and when you come to this roundabout take the descending gravel road to the right, under the highway and you'll be in A Laxe.

20180520_155236 (RS).jpg

Easy peasy :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#48
I stayed in Hotel Torre do Deza and walked on the pavement along the N-525 from where the camino came up from the river to the road, instead of following the camino up on the other side of the road. When I came to the hotel there were arrowsup the road at the back of the hotel which came up near the entrance of the hotel. The cafeteria was right up in the front. In my opinion the camino was marked to cross the road and following the road parallell to the N- 525 through the industrial area from right outside the parkingarea of the hotel. The hotel was Ok. Had expected a diningroom in a hotel like that but dinner was served in the noisy cafeteria, the diningroom was closed.
I also found it a bit difficult to find the camino through Lalin, but thought it was because I had taken the road. But heading for the river made the solution. The arrows showed up when I reached it.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#49
...
I also found it a bit difficult to find the camino through Lalin, but thought it was because I had taken the road. But heading for the river made the solution. The arrows showed up when I reached it.
In 2014 I walked from Rodeiro to Lalin (and then further to A Laxe) straight on PO-533 which brought me right to the church at the Praza da Igrexa. It was very easy.

https://www.endomondo.com/users/16690154/workouts/380806628
 
Last edited:

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#51
I have heard from several Invierno pilgrims who went to Lalín on the side of the highway. Why would people do that?
Warnings about bad singage? Overgrown and muddy Camino? No intermediate stops as bars/restaurants? Well, at least in my case.

But I promise I'll walk official route next time ;)
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#52
So from Rodeiro to Lalín I’ll need to carry water for the entire 21Km and bring lunch. Is that correct? I don’t see any mention of water fountains or bars...even raking the road? This is not a problem, just need to be prepared.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#53
So from Rodeiro to Lalín I’ll need to carry water for the entire 21Km and bring lunch. Is that correct? I don’t see any mention of water fountains or bars...even raking the road? This is not a problem, just need to be prepared.
On the PO-533 there are at least three restaurants (I would have to check my notes though for exact number) but I do not know for official route. The later goes through villages and from experience I know that virtually every Spanish village has a fountain. otherwise you knock on the front door ;)
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#54
On the PO-533 there are at least three restaurants (I would have to check my notes though for exact number) but I do not know for official route. The later goes through villages and from experience I know that virtually every Spanish village has a fountain. otherwise you knock on the front door ;)
Is the PO-533 all asphalt road?
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#55
Is the PO-533 all asphalt road?
Yep. Check the Google maps or my link. But in 2014 wasn't really heavy traffic.

In Spain you can't walk on As and APs (those are really highways!!!), Ns are national roads (heavy traffic usually) and in this case PO-533 is like county road (PO stands for Pontevedra I think). Better stick to official Camino I think although I didn't have much traffic and the shoulder is wide enough for "safe" walking :)
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#56
So from Rodeiro to Lalín I’ll need to carry water for the entire 21Km and bring lunch. Is that correct? I don’t see any mention of water fountains or bars...even raking the road? This is not a problem, just need to be prepared.
Hi,

That is right, there are no bars or restaurants on the Camino between Rodeiro and Lalín. But there is at least one large fountain, probably more (I haven't looked closely for them). The only part where I found mud was the first part, a few stretches in the woods outside Rodeiro. But I was able to get through. Depending on whether it has been raining, I think it could get worse.

BP
 
#57
Warnings about bad singage? Overgrown and muddy Camino? No intermediate stops as bars/restaurants? Well, at least in my case.

But I promise I'll walk official route next time ;)
That was just not my experience at all. Except for the part about no intermediate stops. I have walked this stage twice and the route has changed, but it was just as well marked as others. There were no overgrown or muddy parts, but true, it had not been raining. It didn’t seem to me that this section would be any wetter or muddier than other dirt roads after or during a rain, and we are all used to that. In fact, my memory is that the stage is almost all on either dirt roads or on asphalt country roads through the little hamlets. No (or not many) narrow little paths through brush. And let’s not forget the difference between walking on something like an access path along a fairly busy road and meandering along through little hamlets and cow farms. Kinky, do you think you walked on a work day or weekend? I think I remember a lot of rush hour type traffic on the part of the camino that goes along the PO-533 till you get to the turn-off at the factory.

True, there are no places to stop,but if that were the crucial part, no one would walk the Invierno, they would just walk the highway for most of the way from Ponferrada. If you have your coffee in your room with your little electric coil ;) and carry fruit, nuts, and yoghurt or something similar, you will be in Lalín well before lunch time anyway. And the eating is very good in Lalín!

And if you haven’t walked the camino on this stage, that explains why you never commented on the little farm with the big statue of the ex-King Juan Carlos. :eek:

Welcome home, Kinky! Thanks for all the pictures. I think the guide is pretty accurate for the Lalín to A Laxe part,but I will study your pictures and revise the prose.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#58
That was just not my experience at all. Except for the part about no intermediate stops. I have walked this stage twice and the route has changed, but it was just as well marked as others. There were no overgrown or muddy parts, but true, it had not been raining. It didn’t seem to me that this section would be any wetter or muddier than other dirt roads after or during a rain, and we are all used to that. In fact, my memory is that the stage is almost all on either dirt roads or on asphalt country roads through the little hamlets. No (or not many) narrow little paths through brush. And let’s not forget the difference between walking on something like an access path along a fairly busy road and meandering along through little hamlets and cow farms. Kinky, do you think you walked on a work day or weekend? I think I remember a lot of rush hour type traffic on the part of the camino that goes along the PO-533 till you get to the turn-off at the factory.

True, there are no places to stop,but if that were the crucial part, no one would walk the Invierno, they would just walk the highway for most of the way from Ponferrada. If you have your coffee in your room with your little electric coil ;) and carry fruit, nuts, and yoghurt or something similar, you will be in Lalín well before lunch time anyway. And the eating is very good in Lalín!

And if you haven’t walked the camino on this stage, that explains why you never commented on the little farm with the big statue of the ex-King Juan Carlos. :eek:

Welcome home, Kinky! Thanks for all the pictures. I think the guide is pretty accurate for the Lalín to A Laxe part,but I will study your pictures and revise the prose.
I don't know if changing the text is really necessary because now the Camino is really well marked. Maybe not so through Lalin but at least Google maps could help, it's no big city. And that little arrow on the garage might be missed by someone but otherwise I think it's pretty clear all the way to A Laxe. I'm actually sure of that and that's why I took so many pictures of all turns etc. to "prove" it.

It was Monday when I walked it but still don't remember heavy traffic. Also there were stretches of AG service roads (mainly asphalt) running parallel to the road. But please, don't take this as an encouragement for anyone to walk the PO-533. It was my daily decision and it is what it is :)
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#59
I don't know if changing the text is really necessary because now the Camino is really well marked. Maybe not so through Lalin but at least Google maps could help, it's no big city. And that little arrow on the garage might be missed by someone but otherwise I think it's pretty clear all the way to A Laxe. I'm actually sure of that and that's why I took so many pictures of all turns etc. to "prove" it.

It was Monday when I walked it but still don't remember heavy traffic. Also there were stretches of AG service roads (mainly asphalt) running parallel to the road. But please, don't take this as an encouragement for anyone to walk the PO-533. It was my daily decision and it is what it is :)
I don't know if changing the text is really necessary because now the Camino is really well marked. Maybe not so through Lalin but at least Google maps could help, it's no big city. And that little arrow on the garage might be missed by someone but otherwise I think it's pretty clear all the way to A Laxe. I'm actually sure of that and that's why I took so many pictures of all turns etc. to "prove" it.

It was Monday when I walked it but still don't remember heavy traffic. Also there were stretches of AG service roads (mainly asphalt) running parallel to the road. But please, don't take this as an encouragement for anyone to walk the PO-533. It was my daily decision and it is what it is :)
It is weird though that you took those pictures in 2014 when you walked the Invierno (?), or are they from a later year? As I wrote above, I walked past those places in 2015 and I have no memory of the granite waymarks around the little bridge, nor anything telling me to walk behind the hotel Deza. Otherwise I just would have followed them…! In addition to directionally challenged, I must be blind....! :Oo

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#60
And if you haven’t walked the camino on this stage, that explains why you never commented on the little farm with the big statue of the ex-King Juan Carlos. :eek:
Oh that reminds me. I took a photo of that statue. Not because it was the statue that surprised me, but rather the pictures behind him. Am I wrong, or do they have two poster-size pictures of Franco on the wall behind him?? I know some people still are in favour of the old dictator in Spain. But I have never seen them advertising this so blatantly. (It is the first time I have seen PICTURES of Franco in a village).

I can't put the photo here because I can NEVER upload my photos!!! :O(

/BP
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#61
It is weird though that you took those pictures in 2014 when you walked the Invierno (?), or are they from a later year? As I wrote above, I walked past those places in 2015 and I have no memory of the granite waymarks around the little bridge, nor anything telling me to walk behind the hotel Deza. Otherwise I just would have followed them…! In addition to directionally challenged, I must be blind....! :Oo

/BP
I walked whole Invierno in 2014 and this bit (before Sanabres) again in the end of May this year. Pics and Wikiloc track are from 2018.
 
Last edited:

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
#62
Oh,

In the autumn of my life, I wouldn't be able to do that in one day… I have the habit of staying in Ponte Ulla, in order to arrive early in Santiago the day after!

/BP
I have done that as well, but last time i walked the 42kms from Silleda and never met another pilgrim all the way to SdC as they had all got there before me!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#63
Oh that reminds me. I took a photo of that statue. Not because it was the statue that surprised me, but rather the pictures behind him. Am I wrong, or do they have two poster-size pictures of Franco on the wall behind him?? I know some people still are in favour of the old dictator in Spain. But I have never seen them advertising this so blatantly. (It is the first time I have seen PICTURES of Franco in a village).

I can't put the photo here because I can NEVER upload my photos!!! :O(

/BP
Do you know why you can't upload pictures? Are they too big? If so then resize them.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#65
I have done that as well, but last time i walked the 42kms from Silleda and never met another pilgrim all the way to SdC as they had all got there before me!
When I think of it, it sounds like a good idea. It would be feasible, as I know my way from Silleda already. I have a vague idea about doing this stretch again in 2020, as part of a combination with other Caminos. I dont attend the Pilgrim Mass, so I don't care how late I would arrive in Santiago... As long as I know there is a hostal waiting for me! :OD

/BP
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
#66
Having read the comments here, I feel better about my slight confusion on the way out of Lalin (late Nov or early Dec 2017). I made it to the industrial estate but got a bit lost there. I just wanted a few more arrows, I guess. :)

I stayed at the Albergue in the center of town. The owner / proprietor is Emiliano, who runs the A Casa do Gato bar just around the corner from the albergue. He immediately served me a piping hot bowl of soup when I arrived, feeling cold, after dark. He and the other bar staff introduced me to the regulars and they made me feel very welcome. The albergue itself is a clean, well-equipped, recently renovated apartment in a 1960s block. Very comfortable.
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
#67
I have the habit of staying in Ponte Ulla, in order to arrive early in Santiago the day after!
If you have energy to walk a little further than Puente Ulla (or if you want to stay a little closer to Santiago), I saw a new albergue under construction next to Cafe Bar Rosende in A Gandara. When I was there last year, they were installing the under-floor heating. It looks great and the owner is very nice.

(Fans of Godaigo will know that "each man desires to reach Gandara; his very own utopia." I was surprised to find it in Galicia. I thought they said Gandara was in India).
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#68
Having read the comments here, I feel better about my slight confusion on the way out of Lalin (late Nov or early Dec 2017). I made it to the industrial estate but got a bit lost there. I just wanted a few more arrows, I guess. :)

I stayed at the Albergue in the center of town. The owner / proprietor is Emiliano, who runs the A Casa do Gato bar just around the corner from the albergue. He immediately served me a piping hot bowl of soup when I arrived, feeling cold, after dark. He and the other bar staff introduced me to the regulars and they made me feel very welcome. The albergue itself is a clean, well-equipped, recently renovated apartment in a 1960s block. Very comfortable.
Wow,

Early december?? What about the temperature? Did it snow ? :Oo
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
#69
Early december?? What about the temperature? Did it snow ? :Oo
I saw that the pilgrims on the Frances were battling through snow but the Sanabres was OK. Overnight temperatures dropped below freezing and many of the albergues were chilly.
I ended up in Lalin by lucky accident - I was unable to continue on the wooded path to A Laxe in the dark, so I called Emiliano, who turned out to be amazing. He was willing to drop everything to drive out to find me, but I assured him that I could walk into Lalin.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#70
If you have energy to walk a little further than Puente Ulla (or if you want to stay a little closer to Santiago), I saw a new albergue under construction next to Cafe Bar Rosende in A Gandara. When I was there last year, they were installing the under-floor heating. It looks great and the owner is very nice.

(Fans of Godaigo will know that "each man desires to reach Gandara; his very own utopia." I was surprised to find it in Galicia. I thought they said Gandara was in India).
Yes you're right,

I had forgotten about that. I had a coffee in that bar with the guys from Madrid who I was walking with, and the owner showed us the new albergue. It looked amazing. It now boasts being the closest albergue to Santiago...!

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#71
I saw that the pilgrims on the Frances were battling through snow but the Sanabres was OK. Overnight temperatures dropped below freezing and many of the albergues were chilly.
I ended up in Lalin by lucky accident - I was unable to continue on the wooded path to A Laxe in the dark, so I called Emiliano, who turned out to be amazing. He was willing to drop everything to drive out to find me, but I assured him that I could walk into Lalin.
Ok,

Did you walk up to Monte do Faro as well?? I guess there is snow up there in December!
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
#72
Did you walk up to Monte do Faro as well?
I don't know where that is. So I guess not ...
I walked Camino Sanabres from Zamora. I diverted 4km or so into central Lalin, followed the Invierno until it merged with the Sanabres again in front of the albergue at Albergue Laxe (not A Laxe - my bad) on the outskirts of Lalin.

By the way - Lot of folks are dying to hear your account of the river crossing on the Mozarabic way near Merida. Please do write it up somewhere.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#73
If you have energy to walk a little further than Puente Ulla (or if you want to stay a little closer to Santiago), I saw a new albergue under construction next to Cafe Bar Rosende in A Gandara. When I was there last year, they were installing the under-floor heating. It looks great and the owner is very nice.

(Fans of Godaigo will know that "each man desires to reach Gandara; his very own utopia." I was surprised to find it in Galicia. I thought they said Gandara was in India).
I've seen it too this year. It was my third time to stop there and have couple of beers. The senora always remembers me and I get free pulpo gallego :D
I remember in 2015 she was asking me about what a pilgrim really needs in an albergue. Among other things I specifically emphasize the electric sockets or even USB sockets for each bed and what you think they have in that new albergue, hahaha?

Too bad they (not even the daughter) don't speak any English. The same day this May I checked Gronze and there they are: https://www.gronze.com/galicia/coruna/deseiro-sergude/albergue-reina-lupa
I think next time on Invierno/Sanabres I'll modify my overnight stops a little bit ;)

Ah, one more thing. You don't have to retrace those few meters back to the Camino because very soon it is crossing main road in A Susana anyway.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#74
I have heard from several Invierno pilgrims who went to Lalín on the side of the highway. Why would people do that?
I did so because I heard of a lot of mud and there was a lot of fog. Some of us choose the easy way, Laurie!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#75
By the way - Lot of folks are dying to hear your account of the river crossing on the Mozarabic way near Merida. Please do write it up somewhere.
Uh-oh,

You might be heavily disappointed there… There wasn't a flood, earthquake, abduction or anything…

I am getting to it...

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#77
I don't know where that is. So I guess not ...
I walked Camino Sanabres from Zamora. I diverted 4km or so into central Lalin, followed the Invierno until it merged with the Sanabres again in front of the albergue at Albergue Laxe (not A Laxe - my bad) on the outskirts of Lalin.
OK, I thought you were on the Invierno! That is where Monte do Faro is located. I saw Winter pictures with a lot of snow up there…

By the way, a shepherd that I ran into after the descent, said that the hills are "infested" - that is the word he used - with wolves…! I didn't see any though.

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#78
July 26 Silleda – Ponte Ulla

These last posts will be short. I honestly didn’t look much at the Guide as I know the final stages as the back of my hand. Strangely enough, I didn’t see any other pilgrim during the day, which I usually do when I am getting this close to target: Santiago. Anyway, fellow pilgrim Laurie asked for info about bars/restaurants in another thread… Here are some updates and reviews.

Immediately after leaving Silleda on the N-525/N-640 there is a restaurant on the left side of the road that opens early: O Camiño. I don’t know exactly when it opens, but it was pitch dark when I left Silleda and there was already a bunch of pilgrims there to have breakfast. I joined them, yum yum! I thought I would have to wait to reach my favorite cafetería Dulce Deza (a pastelería) in Bandeira – the one on the left side when you enter Bandeira – to have a proper breakfast. I actually went there as well, so I had two breakfasts that morning, ha ha. Reaching Dulce Deza is a pilgrimage in its own right! The staff pampers you with extra pastry and orange juice when you order something… It is not a big place, but rather a narrow hallway where there is barely room for the counter and a few tables. But it is always jammed with people and full of life in the morning. Don’t miss it!

In Ponte Ulla I always stay at the hostal Cruceiro da Ulla, across the street and close to the Día grocery store (perfect: more food!). I am surprised they don’t recognize me by now, I don’t know how many times I have stayed there. Recommended. They have an albergue downstairs – I wasn’t aware of this? Sorry, this luxury pilgrim always goes for the hostal! And sorry, but no more albergue Outeiro for me! It sure shortens the final stage to Santiago with about four kilometers. But it is built in the middle of nowhere. I also have a tough time walking up that final hill at the end of a stage. I find it much easier to walk it in the morning, and four more kilometers the next day are not that much of a difference. I don’t really need to attend Pilgrim Mass, so I really don’t care when I arrive in Santiago.

Final chapter coming up soon!

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#79
July 27 Ponte Ulla – Santiago de Compostela

The only thing I didn’t see in the Guide is the new albergue Reina Lupa, owned by the lady who runs the bar Rosende outside A Susana. Already in the restaurant outside A Laxe, people told the Spanish guys and me about this new place. When we reached the bar Rosende in A Susana, the lady was more than happy to show us the facilities. Newly constructed, the albergue still smelled of fresh paint. So clean you could have had dinner on the floor, I tell you. 18 bunk beds (14 euros each) and 2 private rooms for couples. This is now the closest albergue to Santiago (not the one in Outeiro anymore). According to the lady, there had been a steady stream of pilgrims staying there since they opened. A stay leaves only some 10 kilometers (I don’t know the exact distance) for those who wish to reach Santiago really early in the morning.

The Bar Rosende and its albergue Reina Lupa are not exactly on the Camino, but a few hundred meters off the official route. I can’t give any details as I always leave the Camino and visit this bar. I don’t think I have ever followed the official route. Just as Kinky1 pointed out in a post above, you don’t even have to backtrack to reach the Camino again: you can walk through the commercial agglomeration of A Susana and eventually you meet the Camino. (The Camino is coming from your right side. To join the Camino, veer left between some small houses. There are arrows when you get there.)

Reaching the railroad tracks where a tragic accident occurred in 2013 is always saddening. I was only a few days from Santiago that summer. When I crossed the bridge a few days later, one of the railway wagon still laid wrecked on the side, and the rain was pouring down. Not easy to forget that sight. I usually stay for a while to read the messages people have left there and think about what happened, before moving on. In 2018, I read in the newspaper a few days earlier that the bar next to the site of the accident is now closed. The owner has retired, and her sons have decided not to keep up the business. The newspaper mentioned this at the anniversary of the accident, as people in the bar were involved in the rescuing after the accident.

In Santiago I stayed in Costa Azul. 25 euros and a regular hostal. Kind of on the way towards Finisterre as you leave Santiago, and only a stone’s throw away from fellow pilgrim Syates lovely “Pilgrim house”. A chat with Syates over a warm cup of coffee is definitely recommended! The rest of the day I was just floating around in Santiago, doing pilgrim-watching (my favorite sport) or merging with the pilgrims myself. And… I had to start thinking about Camino de Santiago 2019. I am preeetty sure I will be going back to the Lana, add a sprinkle of San Olav and then throw in the Vasco Interior as well. But that will be another story…

/BP
 
Last edited:

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#80
...
In Ponte Ulla I always stay at the hostal Cruceiro da Ulla, across the street and close to the Día grocery store (perfect: more food!). I am surprised they don’t recognize me by now, I don’t know how many times I have stayed there. Recommended. They have an albergue downstairs – I wasn’t aware of this? ...
/BP
Me too. I always stay at Cruceiro and three times in a row I got THE SAME private en-suite room for 10€ (although without towels) even if I asked for albergue :)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#81
... and then throw in the Vasco Interior as well. But that will be another story…

/BP
I walked Via de Bayona late May 2016. It overlapse with Camino Vasco del Interior from Irun to Estavillo so I can give you some first hand info on majority of CVdI together with GPS tracks, photos etc. I doubt much has changed on this less walked Camino.
I think @peregrina2000 was also asking about it for next year.
 
Last edited:

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#82
Oh,

I am happy for any information and updates! It would be great! :OD
I walked Via de Bayona late May 2016. It overlapse with Camino vasco del Interior from Irun to Estavillo so I can give you some first hand info on majority of CVdI together with GPS tracks, photos etc. I doubt much has changed on this less walked Camino.
I think @peregrina2000 was also asking about it for next year.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#83
Oh,

I am happy for any information and updates! It would be great! :OD
No problem. Just ask in separate thread if you have any specific question or PM me with your e-mail address and we can discuss it a bit more. Although my "updates" would be a bit outdated if anything (at all) changed in the meantime ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#84
July 26 Silleda – Ponte Ulla

These last posts will be short. I honestly didn’t look much at the Guide as I know the final stages as the back of my hand. Strangely enough, I didn’t see any other pilgrim during the day, which I usually do when I am getting this close to target: Santiago. Anyway, fellow pilgrim Laurie asked for info about bars/restaurants in another thread… Here are some updates and reviews.

Immediately after leaving Silleda on the N-525/N-640 there is a restaurant on the left side of the road that opens early: O Camiño. I don’t know exactly when it opens, but it was pitch dark when I left Silleda and there was already a bunch of pilgrims there to have breakfast. I joined them, yum yum! I thought I would have to wait to reach my favorite cafetería Dulce Deza (a pastelería) in Bandeira – the one on the left side when you enter Bandeira – to have a proper breakfast. I actually went there as well, so I had two breakfasts that morning, ha ha. Reaching Dulce Deza is a pilgrimage in its own right! The staff pampers you with extra pastry and orange juice when you order something… It is not a big place, but rather a narrow hallway where there is barely room for the counter and a few tables. But it is always jammed with people and full of life in the morning. Don’t miss it!

In Ponte Ulla I always stay at the hostal Cruceiro da Ulla, across the street and close to the Día grocery store (perfect: more food!). I am surprised they don’t recognize me by now, I don’t know how many times I have stayed there. Recommended. They have an albergue downstairs – I wasn’t aware of this? Sorry, this luxury pilgrim always goes for the hostal! And sorry, but no more albergue Outeiro for me! It sure shortens the final stage to Santiago with about four kilometers. But it is built in the middle of nowhere. I also have a tough time walking up that final hill at the end of a stage. I find it much easier to walk it in the morning, and four more kilometers the next day are not that much of a difference. I don’t really need to attend Pilgrim Mass, so I really don’t care when I arrive in Santiago.

Final chapter coming up soon!

/BP
@Bad Pilgrim
In Ponte Ulla, last year, I also chose to stay at the O Cruceiro Pension (that's what it says on the sello) and would like to announce, for those who are stiff or sore from a long walk (I started in Seville) a large private bathroom with an enormous bathtub, which I filled with hot water. I shall certainly stay there when I walk the Invierno next year, regardless of the delights of a new albergue closer to Santiago. I needed that soak.
 

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