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LIVE from the Camino Caryn on the Invierno

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Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
A wonderful Day 1 on the Invierno which should have been my Day 2.

I had to adjust my plan slightly when my checked luggage didn’t arrive with me in Santiago. I arrived on Thursday with the plan of taking a bus to Ponferrada early Friday morning and arriving with enough time to walk to Villavieja. I had my pack with me as carry on but my walking poles and a few other camino items were in my checked bag. My bag didn’t arrive until late Friday morning which didn’t give me enough time to get to both Ponferrada and on to Villavieja.

Stayed in Ponferrada Friday night and took a taxi Saturday morning to Villavieja to walk to Las Medulas where I had booked two nights.

When I arrived at Villavieja, the village was shrouded in fog and mist. So quiet. Beautiful and eerie as I started to walk. Around the bend to the right, up above the left of the church, and on a little bit more, there is a driveway on the left. Four dogs came charging and barking out of the driveway. They circled around me and then went behind me. Very scary for a moment but I just stayed calm, kept walking, whispering “It’s okay, it’s okay”, praying they weren’t in a biting mood! The dogs followed for a few seconds but then went back to their driveway. A little further along, a very old mastiff tottered out of his yard, barked a bit to show me he still had it, then returned to his yard. So...my dog experience for the day.

Such a lovely walk through the village and into the woods. Soft paths and ancient trees, wildflowers and interesting bugs to photograph. As the path started to descend, the fog and mist were lifting and all of a sudden, there it was! Castillo de Cornatel. Such a lovely sight high on the hill with the remains of the mist moving past and the colours of the foliage on the slopes. The attendant arrived just as I did and he said the castle would open at 11:00am, in 20 minutes. He also told me that entry is free for pilgrims with a credential. Had a great time poking about, exploring and taking photos.

Leaving the castle, part way down the path is the sign for “the most beautiful bench in Bierzo”. It really is worth it to follow the path to the bench for a spectacular view and different perspective of the castle. Continuing on and looking back at the views of the castle and into Borrenes.

Bar Casa Marisol was open and she made a great lunch of eggs, potatoes and salad. Another pilgrim came in while I was there ~ the only one I saw all day. He was Spanish, 78 years old, from Santiago and on his first camino. Fueled by a great lunch and great conversation via my poor Spanish, his little bit of English and google translate, I continued on.

As with the first sudden view of the castle, the first view of the orange peaks of Las Medulas was fantastic. I booked 2 nights at Casa Rural Agoga and I’ll have a full day to explore.

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I don't know. I suspect that you are at least as much of a legend on the forum as any old dog.
Well, Not talking about the forum but Invierno ;) And that mastiff is barking and moving very slowly for the last 5 years so I don't think anyone passing by should really be afraid of him.

But wait... You're calling me "forum old dog legend"??? :D :D :D
That's an endorsement (or is it endearment?)!!! Next round is on me ;)
 
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lindam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Via de La Plata, Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan and Aragones, Norte
Thanks for sharing. I will look forward to your posts about this route as it is part of my fall Camino plans. Enjoy!
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
Day 2 Medulas

Woke to a beautiful Sunday morning. My room at the Complejo Rural Agoga has a balcony with a stunning view.
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Sitting there late afternoon the day before I was amazed at the steady stream of folks heading up the trails. The town was so busy when I arrived - the parking area at the entrance was packed with tour buses. Found out that late afternoon / early afternoon is a very popular time to go to the Mirador Orellán because of the light.

Sunday morn 7am all was quiet (other than glorious birdsong) as I headed out to explore the lower trails. I only met a woman and then a couple walking their dogs in the 3 hours or so that I was out. A spectacular morning.
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Back in town for breakfast and all still quite quiet. I wandered about the town after breakfast. Had a couple of nice chats with people working in their gardens. Discovered that there is no longer a grocery store in town. You’re at the mercy of the restaurants here for food or water.

The information centre and museum at the entrance to the town was closed. I was told at the 2nd info centre (close to the church) that the museum is usually open on Sunday...just not this Sunday. The women at the 2nd info centre were wonderful - very knowledgeable on the history of the area and had great maps of all the trails. You can also get a stamp for your credential here.

The doors to the Iglesia de San Simón y San Judas were open - not to enter but to light a candle through the bars in front of the door. A pretty little church.
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Back to my lovely balcony room for a rest before the climb to Mirador Orellán. Sunday remained pretty quiet in town all day. Certainly some hikers but not the tour bus hoards from the day before.

I really liked the steady climb up to the Mirador. An unusual, kind of spooky forest.
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And then...the Mirador. No words.
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A little way down from the viewing platform and across the road is the entrance to the tunnel that takes you to the mouth on the side of the hill, above right photo. A very cool experience and end to a great Sunday.
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Day 2 Medulas

Woke to a beautiful Sunday morning. My room at the Complejo Rural Agoga has a balcony with a stunning view.
View attachment 59049View attachment 59050
Sitting there late afternoon the day before I was amazed at the steady stream of folks heading up the trails. The town was so busy when I arrived - the parking area at the entrance was packed with tour buses. Found out that late afternoon / early afternoon is a very popular time to go to the Mirador Orellán because of the light.

Sunday morn 7am all was quiet (other than glorious birdsong) as I headed out to explore the lower trails. I only met a woman and then a couple walking their dogs in the 3 hours or so that I was out. A spectacular morning.
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Back in town for breakfast and all still quite quiet. I wandered about the town after breakfast. Had a couple of nice chats with people working in their gardens. Discovered that there is no longer a grocery store in town. You’re at the mercy of the restaurants here for food or water.

The information centre and museum at the entrance to the town was closed. I was told at the 2nd info centre (close to the church) that the museum is usually open on Sunday...just not this Sunday. The women at the 2nd info centre were wonderful - very knowledgeable on the history of the area and had great maps of all the trails. You can also get a stamp for your credential here.

The doors to the Iglesia de San Simón y San Judas were open - not to enter but to light a candle through the bars in front of the door. A pretty little church.
View attachment 59077

Back to my lovely balcony room for a rest before the climb to Mirador Orellán. Sunday remained pretty quiet in town all day. Certainly some hikers but not the tour bus hoards from the day before.

I really liked the steady climb up to the Mirador. An unusual, kind of spooky forest.
View attachment 59061

And then...the Mirador. No words.
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A little way down from the viewing platform and across the road is the entrance to the tunnel that takes you to the mouth on the side of the hill, above right photo. A very cool experience and end to a great Sunday.
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Thank you Caryn,
Wonderful photos
Following your reports with interest
Thanks for letting us know about the closed grocery store.
Annette
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
Day 3. Las Medulas to Puente de Domingo Florez

A very pleasant walk out of town. Cool temperatures, some cloud with the sun shining through every so often. Lots of interesting flora and fauna to photograph. Turning back now and then for last beautiful views of Las Medulas.
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All the while, ambling along, keeping an eye out for waymarks. At the top of the first rise, there is a junction with a sign pointing the way to the Mirador Pedrices. The camino points another direction and starts the descent to Puente de Domingo Florez. Beautiful vistas ahead as the quiet road winds it’s way down the mountain.
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Somehow, at some point along this road I discovered a special variant. I have no idea how 😁 and I don’t really recommend it even though it brought me a great experience and most of the route was lovely! I remember a marker some time after the junction with the Mirador Pedrices but then no other markers were appearing as I continued the road descent. At 4km a small village appeared ahead.
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As I got closer there was a sign that said Yeres, pointing to a road to the right and into the village. There was a road to the left which appeared to bypass the village. Yeres was not mentioned in any of the guide info I had and I knew that I must have missed a waymark somewhere and taken a different way. I could not figure out how though as it seemed that there was only one road descending at the earlier junction.

I decided to continue on for a bit, taking the road to the left of the village and see what was ahead. It was a beautiful day and I was loving the walk. The road ultimately wound around and entered Yeres from the other end. There was a woman sitting on a bench in front of her house - she looked so surprised to see me! I asked if the camino passed here. She laughed and said no and asked where I was from and where I was going. I said Puente de Domingo Flórez and she said it was 9km further along the road. She told me to come with her and started walking up the street. I thought she was going to show me the way out but she stopped and banged on the window of a house and called out. An elderly man came out and she told him to get his car to give me a ride to town. I said no, no I wanted to walk. They were so lovely! It took some convincing to assure them that my purpose was walking. They walked me to the road out of town and sent me off with “Go with God”. A really lovely encounter.
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Leaving Yeres, the road was quiet and wound down through fields for 2.5 km before joining with the busy main road at Las Vegas.
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After a km along the road, the walking became a bit intense for the final 5km into Puente de Domingo Flórez. The road was very busy with no shoulder at all on the left side - just a metal guardrail against the road and a drop off on the other side. On the right side there was a drainage ditch along the road that I could step down into on blind corners.

The views were beautiful though of the river and mountains on the left, passing a dam and eventually arriving with a very pretty first view of Puente de Domingo Flórez.
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I still have no idea where I went wrong with the route today but ultimately...it was right 😁
 
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Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
That old mastiff in Villavieja is more of a legend than any of the forum members already :D :D :D
But he's harmless. The little barkers are annoying. Wish you not much of them on next stages!
Poor guy can hardly move on his stiff old legs but I love that he still has the will to carry out his security duties :)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
:eek: 😎
Looking at my wikiloc track, it seems you went left, rather than right at the first fork after the mirador. There, the camino takes the right fork and very soon after that, a left fork.

But all's well that end well, and you saw things that the rest of us missed.

I missed the churros place in PDoFl, hope you find it!
☺

It's so nice to still be out here, yet re-living the experience through other eyes! Buen Camino, Caryn!
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
:eek: 😎
Looking at my wikiloc track, it seems you went left, rather than right at the first fork after the mirador. There, the camino takes the right fork and very soon after that, a left fork.

But all's well that end well, and you saw things that the rest of us missed.

I missed the churros place in PDoFl, hope you find it!
☺

It's so nice to still be out here, yet re-living the experience through other eyes! Buen Camino, Caryn!
Mystery solved! Thank you!! I’m actually in A Rúa now. Still catching up on my daily posts. :) Buen camino to you!
 
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Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
Day 4. Puente de Domingo Flórez to O Barco de Valdeorras.

As expected, I knew that if I didn’t immediately write about my day every evening, I would forget many little details and impressions. When I walk, I don’t make notes. I usually rely on my photographs to recall the events of the day. I take a lot of photos 😊
I’m 3 days ahead of this post right now so I’m going to try to catch up!

My day began with honesty and kindness. I had breakfast at the bar of the Hostel La Torre. After breakfast I went back to my room to collect my pack. As I was leaving, walking up the street, the man from the bar came out, calling out to me. He had a 50 euro bill and he asked if it was mine. He said he found it on the floor near where I was standing to pay my bill. I said I didn’t think so but he insisted I come back to the bar. I checked my wallet but just wasn’t sure. He asked me to wait and went into the back for a few moments, came out and said it was mine. He checked his security cameras and saw it drop from my wallet. So grateful.

A beautiful morning, walking out of town and across the bridge. Temperatures have been so ideal for walking. Must enjoy it for these first few days - everyone keeps telling me that the heat is coming!
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Nearing the railway tracks out of Quereño, I was keeping an eye out for the loudly barking dog on the long chain that I’d read about. I saw him but he was sleeping and didn’t even notice me.

The camino continues under a tunnel which made me smile. This one obviously marked for me. If I miss the waymark and arrow above, I’ll see the one below and the one below that and the three more through the tunnel.
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Beautiful views of the Sil emerge and the first of several rest / picnic areas. All along the route today there were places to stop, sit, enjoy the view.
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Walking into Pumares is very pretty. Gardens cared for and becoming full and lush. Someone has made little signs and placed them along the path.
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As I passed the church, a woman with a walking stick coming toward me, stopped and asked if I was going to Santiago. I said yes and she took my hand and told me to stay strong and arrive safely in Santiago. A lovely moment.
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The path continues high along the ridge with the river and railroad below. Peaceful and quiet...except for the few noisy slate manufacturing yards along the way.

Arriving at the site of the abandoned village of Nogueiras, I could see a slate path leading off and up to the right. Through the ruins of a house on the left and a stone wall on the right was a sign “Bienvenido A Tu Casa” In an inner courtyard someone has created a shrine to the Virgin Mary. There are benches made of slate. I stopped here for a rest. While I was there, a man who had passed me earlier jogging and a little later a woman came in for a prayer.
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It’s nice that this has been created in a place that is vanishing. Keeping something alive in it’s place.

Continuing along the path soon brought views ahead of Sobradelo.
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I stopped for a break at Bar Mar. A wonderful place to stop. They were so welcoming. The young woman at the bar told me to sit and rest on the covered terrace and asked what I’d like to drink. She brought my coffee and a stamp for my credential, as well as a lovely custard fruit tart which they didn’t charge for. Such a great break! As I was leaving she asked if she could take my photo against the Bar Mar sign. I think she said they wanted to create a photo record of the pilgrims that stop at the bar.

Nearing Èntoma, you start to see terraced vineyards high on the slopes above. Making my way down through the village, nearing the centre around the church, I could hear grinding and hammering. I couldn't continue along the camino route because the streets were all torn up and new slate paving was being laid down with a small army of workers and locals standing around watching. I stood for a moment wondering how to get through, when one of the workers called for a stop and he and a couple of locals started to guide me through to the other side and back onto the camino. A very funny few moments as I was shepherded from person to person for safe passage through.
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Leaving Èntoma, next to the mojón, there is a cool farewell sculpture and sign made out of garden tools.
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The path climbs up over Èntoma and follows through the terraced vineyards that I could see on the approach to the village.

Around this bend, you can start to see O Barco de Valdeorras.
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It took awhile to get into the city from the outskirts and then to find my accommodation. I was staying at the Hostal Mayo which was on the opposite end of town but very close to the river and convenient to get back on the camino the next morning.
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
Day 5. O Barco de Valdeorras to A Rúa de Valdeorras

Leaving town is easy - just go to the river and walk, keeping it to your left. The river is a popular early morning recreational area, joggers, walkers and even a Tai Chi group of about 20 people! Lovely to watch for a bit - the quiet movement with the sound of the river and birdsong.

Keep an eye out for the right turn, off of the river path, onto Camino Praia de Ouro. There is a mojón there but I almost missed it because it was quite overgrown - both the mojón and the path.

A pleasant easy walk today, mostly on tarmac. After leaving O Barco and along the road to Arcos, there is a area along the road with thistles and long grasses. There were hundreds of snails all along this stretch. The oddest thing. Nestled together in groups, attached to blades of grass, and perched on thistle blossoms. I’ve never seen anything like it.
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It was a day for stork babies. There is a nest just after Arcos as you turn off the paved road.
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Nearing Vilamartin, all along the river and continuing on, are nice views and (slightly run down) picnic areas and benches.
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Two interesting bridges. On the left a suspension bridge and on the right, the Santiago Bridge over the River Lor which flows into the Sil.
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Just before the dam and spillway of the Embalse de Santiago, there were several people fishing. Had a nice chat with this man and his son.
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After the dam, there is a long stretch along a very quiet road marked at the beginning with a very snazzy mojón.
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The last stretch into A Rúa, along the road takes care and attention. There is no shoulder and a drop off to your left. Stunning views which are a distraction (for me 😊) so stay vigilant!
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I almost missed that turn too.
Wow, the snails were throwing a welcone party for you! They weren't doing that there when I went through. :eek:
By now you are well on this side of the Miño ln your way up and down the last mountain on the Invierno.
Buen camino, Caryn...may you be dry this day!
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
Day 6. A Rúa to Quiroga.

I stayed at the Casa Rural Pacio do Sil with the wonderfully kind Julia and Alban. My day began with a delicious breakfast in their lovely old kitchen and a lively conversation about family and grandchildren and how cell phones have sadly changed interactions at meal times, both with their family and with guests.

After breakfast Julia took me on a walkabout around their land, showing me all the fruit trees, herbs and flowers she grows. I’m really enjoying the time spent with local people along this camino. On other routes most of my social time is spent with other pilgrims. The lack of pilgrims on this route gives a different focus, a different interaction with people. It’s very rich and is giving me a chance to communicate in a different way, to use and improve what little Spanish I have.

The walk to Alvaredos along the twisty, ascending quiet road above the Rio Sil is lovely. It was a bit of an overcast morning with intermittent sun. Along the way painted figures of animals, faces, eyes, waymarks started to appear which gave a great distraction along the 7km of road walking.
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The works of art continued through Alvaredos and along the descending cart track to the valley bottom at El Molino.
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Said hello to a couple working in their garden and talked for a moment. I asked if I could take their photo. They laughed and said yes, but at work.
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The path soon leads to and through Montefurado. Just on the outskirts is a walled house with a lovely old dog who had the most unusual eyes .
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The green, rocky path leading up and out of Montefurado was in great shape. This path has been reported as muddy and overgrown in the past but was fine today. Looked like it had recently been cleared.
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I enjoyed the next km’s along the winding undulating asphalt road. Some gorgeous views along the way and for most of this stretch the road was bordered with a wide variety of beautiful, delicate wildflowers.
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There seems to be a new change here to Laurie’s guide info. The camino leaves the road 2 or 3 km’s before Bendilló and winds a beautiful path through a forest and then rejoins the road at Bendilló.

There is a long steep descent from Bendilló to the highway N-120 with beautiful views as a distraction from joint stress!
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There appears to be a new route change once the path joins the highway. The old route is still marked - at the highway, there are yellow arrows that take you across the road and onto an access road into Soldón. There is also now a new mojón that keeps you on the right side of the highway and immediately ascends a steep hill up and beside the right side of the N-120. I didn’t feel like climbing at that point and decided to stick with the old waymarking crossing to the left side of the highway. It was just fine. The first part of the path was a bit overgrown until it joined a tarmac road into Soldon. I expect with the new routing, it may not be maintained and will eventually become completely overgrown. I don’t know where the new ascending route on the right side of the path ultimately goes. I couldn’t see any place where it would enter Soldon so maybe it bypasses it now?
Waymarking through Soldón was very clear.

Wonderful 1st view of the castle of Torrenovas and the changing views of it as the path winds down and around to Caspedro.
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I did have plans to take the detour at Caspedro to find the old pilgrim hospital but I never did see any signs pointing the way. Ultimately at that point I was too tired to try to backtrack and try to find it.

This was a wonderful day full of interesting places and diversity of terrain and paths. It was so great walking into Quiroga along the straight main street that led directly to accommodation, grocery stores, bank, cafes. Perfect at the end of a long day.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I look forward to reading these posts carefully when I am on the Invierno in a few days!! I don’t have a copy of the guide with me so I guess I won’t be much help for revising at the end of the year😲
Laurie,
I have an extra copy but small text....an A5 copy
Do you want me to leave it somewhere for you...we are in Casa Socorro on Tuesday 25th so you could pick it up from there if you want ...I think you are a day or two behind us if I remember?
Annette
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
I look forward to reading these posts carefully when I am on the Invierno in a few days!! I don’t have a copy of the guide with me so I guess I won’t be much help for revising at the end of the year😲
I’ll send you an email consolidating the few changes I noticed once I’m home mid July. I also noticed things that may have changed because of what you noted in the guide. The way out of Soldón for instance. It’s very clear and well marked now. Waymarking is very good the whole route. Your wonderful detailed work with this guide has been so great to have at my side on this journey. Thank you!
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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I stayed at the Casa Rural Pacio do Sil with the wonderfully kind Julia and Alban. My day began with a delicious breakfast in their lovely old kitchen and a lively conversation about family and grandchildren and how cell phones have sadly changed interactions at meal times, both with their family and with guests.

After breakfast Julia took me on a walkabout around their land, showing me all the fruit trees, herbs and flowers she grows. I’m really enjoying the time spent with local people along this camino. On other routes most of my social time is spent with other pilgrims. The lack of pilgrims on this route gives a different focus, a different interaction with people. It’s very rich and is giving me a chance to communicate in a different way, to use and improve what little Spanish I have.

I've stayed there twice, the second time with my other half, and I agree wholheartedly with what you say.
 

Theatregal

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Day 7. Quiroga to Barxa do Lor

I didn’t stay at the albergue in Quiroga (stayed at Hostal Quiper) but had breakfast at the bakery across from the albergue with a view of it’s mural. The hospitalero came in for coffee and he said there were 2 pilgrims last night but none in the few days before.
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Beautiful morning light leaving Quiroga and crossing the bridge to San Clodio.
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The path continues along the highway for some time before arrows take you down a short grassy slope and through a metal tunnel under the highway to the other side and on to a quiet road ascending over Noceda.

For some reason today, I found much of the route from this point, all the way to the Capela dos Remedios to be a bit of a slog. The surroundings are pleasant but for the first time I felt uninterested in the path which travels for a long time on the ascending road and then into the forest. Intermittently all along the forest stretch, there were swarming black flies. Had to walk waving my poles around to keep them away. It was just one of those days where it was hard for me to feel connected to the walk. I think that after all the days of open spaces and expansive views, I felt a bit ‘closed in’ by the forest walk.
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Had a nice rest and some lunch sitting on the steps of the Capela dos Remedios. The chapel wasn’t open but part of the screen beside the door was pulled aside and you could peak in through a corner. There was just enough light to see a bit of the interior. There was a candle lit on the altar! Must have been electric but it was a surprise to see.
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Felt much better from this point on as the path wound down through Carballo do Lor with nice views opening up of farms, bee boxes and hamlets.
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A word of caution. Just before the road starts to descend to Barxa do Lor, there is a small farm. The narrow camino path goes between the house and a small hay barn. As I approached, two large dogs lunged out on chains, barking ferociously. They were truly in a frenzy, lunging and straining at their chains. There was no one there and no other way to go around. I inched forward hugging the side of the barn to test the length of the chains. I soon saw that they couldn’t reach me by about 5 or 6 feet. A scary moment and they continued well after I had passed.

Lovely to cross the Barxa do Lor Bridge knowing that historically, pilgrims are exempt from the toll to cross😊
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Across the bridge, I took the path on the left leading to the Pensión Pacita where I was staying that night. Really enjoyed my evening there and had a lovely walk around and exploration of the village accompanied by Rin, the Pensión Pacita dog.
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There is a path that leads under the bridge to an abandoned stone house. Found a very cool water level gauge on the side of the bridge.
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A fine end to the day.
 

Charrito

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A word of caution. Just before the road starts to descend to Barxa do Lor, there is a small farm. The narrow camino path goes between the house and a small hay barn. As I approached, two large dogs lunged out on chains, barking ferociously. They were truly in a frenzy, lunging and straining at their chains. There was no one there and no other way to go around. I inched forward hugging the side of the barn to test the length of the chains. I soon saw that they couldn’t reach me by about 5 or 6 feet. A scary moment and they continued well after I had passed.

Those dogs in A Trampilla are indeed very scary, until you realise that they are chained. I've spoken on various occasions to the farmer and told him that he needs to keep them away from the path, but he couldn't see the problem!
 

Theatregal

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2012 ~ 2019
A word of caution. Just before the road starts to descend to Barxa do Lor, there is a small farm. The narrow camino path goes between the house and a small hay barn. As I approached, two large dogs lunged out on chains, barking ferociously. They were truly in a frenzy, lunging and straining at their chains. There was no one there and no other way to go around. I inched forward hugging the side of the barn to test the length of the chains. I soon saw that they couldn’t reach me by about 5 or 6 feet. A scary moment and they continued well after I had passed.

Those dogs in A Trampilla are indeed very scary, until you realise that they are chained. I've spoken on various occasions to the farmer and told him that he needs to keep them away from the path, but he couldn't see the problem!
So that’s Trampilla! I’d seen the sign earlier but wasn’t sure where it was😊 Yes, on this day they were in such a frenzy I was afraid they’d either break the chains or their necks! Poor things. Thank you for speaking with the farmer.
 

Charrito

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So that’s Trampilla! I’d seen the sign earlier but wasn’t sure where it was😊 Yes, on this day they were in such a frenzy I was afraid they’d either break the chains or their necks! Poor things. Thank you for speaking with the farmer.
He won't move them!
 

Theatregal

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Day 8. Barxa do Lor to Monforte de Lemos

Beautiful morning leaving Hostal Pacita after a good breakfast of coffee, fruit and tostadas con acieta. It was delicious. First time I’ve had something like this since the bread fried in olive oil at Herminia’s place in Campiello on the Primitivo.

The day starts with a heart starting ascent from the village that gets the blood flowing to those walking muscles!! All good though because there are constant little rest moments with the need to stop and look back at the beautiful expanding views.
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The best mornings on the camino for me are those when I can start my day walking out of a small village. Calm, quiet, fresh air. No navigating out of a city with noise and traffic. Actually...ending the day that way is the best too😊
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The path ascends for quite some time and there’s that moment when you think, “I haven’t seen an arrow for awhile, did I miss something, am I on the right path?” Then you turn a corner, there it is and the path flattens, your heart rate slows and you sink into the relaxation of a nice easy pace and a lovely gentle view ahead.
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The path continues through Castroncelos with a view of it’s unusual church across a field.
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Routing that may be new (not noted in Laurie’s guide): Just past the sign for Reguengo and a cow barn on the right, arrows take you off the road to the left, onto a dirt tractor path through fields and a wooded area and into Pobra do Brollón.

I knew that this was a stage that I would need to shorten with a taxi ride because I wanted time to explore Monforte de Lemos and most importantly visit the Colegio Nuestra Señora de la Antigua and the Museo de Arte Sacro de las Clarisas.
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I arrived during siesta and the Tourism Office was closed. I had hoped to get a map of the city. The woman who checked me in to the MON ComeySueña Guesthouse (highly recommended!) drew me a great little map showing the places I wanted to see as well as her favourite cafes and shops!
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I was able to get a ticket for the last tour of the day at the Clarisas. Fascinating tour and sacred art history contained in those rooms. So much to see in the specific time allocated for the tour.

A 17th century wood sculpture titled: Dolorosa
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Book from 1612 about dedication to the Apóstol Santiago.
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Happy to have had the time to wander about and see a bit of this city.

Street art.
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Charrito

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If you're in Monforte now, the Centro do Vino is closed on Mondays!
 

Theatregal

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No, I’m ahead - not in Monforte now. Just catching up on my daily posts! I’ve found it hard sometimes at the end of the day to write. Too tired. When I was in Monforte, with the time I had, I had to make a choice of tours. I chose the Clarisas. I was disappointed to not tour the Colegio or the wine museum - especially for the historical context that @VNwalking found valuable for what’s ahead. Next visit!
 

Charrito

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No, I’m ahead - not in Monforte now. Just catching up on my daily posts! I’ve found it hard sometimes at the end of the day to write. Too tired. When I was in Monforte, with the time I had, I had to make a choice of tours. I chose the Clarisas. I was disappointed to not tour the Colegio or the wine museum - especially for the historical context that @VNwalking found valuable for what’s ahead. Next visit!
That's why we met up with our celebrity pilgrim in Monforte a couple of weeks ago. She really appreciated the incredibly detailed explanation during the tour of the wine museum. As you say, next time! That's what we Invierno lovers like to read!
 

peregrina2000

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No, I’m ahead - not in Monforte now. Just catching up on my daily posts! I’ve found it hard sometimes at the end of the day to write. Too tired. When I was in Monforte, with the time I had, I had to make a choice of tours. I chose the Clarisas. I was disappointed to not tour the Colegio or the wine museum - especially for the historical context that @VNwalking found valuable for what’s ahead. Next visit!
Finally catching up on these great posts, as I start the Invierno tomorrow. Where did you stay in Monforte?
 

Theatregal

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Finally catching up on these great posts, as I start the Invierno tomorrow. Where did you stay in Monforte?
I stayed at the MON ComeySueña Guesthouse on Roberto Baamond, 30. Lovely single room with beautiful bathroom - 28 euros. Close to the Puente Romana (5 min walk) Fantastic cafe downstairs. Buen camino tomorrow Laurie!
 

Theatregal

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Day 9. Monforte de Lemos to Vilariño

Such a nice way to leave a city - crossing a Puente Romana in beautiful early morning light.
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After crossing the bridge and then turning left at the monastery of the Clarisas, it was difficult to find waymarks. There was a street market as well as a carnival set up, in the old town hall plaza area, hiding buildings and arrows. Luckily there were some street cleaners who knew the way and pointed me in the right direction. You know you’re definitely on the right track when you see the pilgrim statue at a roundabout.
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After the stretch along the highway to A Vide, I did not see any waymarks that would have taken the camino off off the road and onto earthen trails. So I continued on the road.

Stopped for a rest on a bench in front of the church in Moreda. The priest arrived to ring the bell for 11:00am mass.
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He came over to talk and said he’d be honoured if a peregrina to Santiago would stay for mass. I thanked him but said I had to keep walking. He noticed I wasn’t wearing a hat and told me where I could find one like his in Chantada, that would protect my neck as well 😊

I really enjoy watching the Galician women bring their animals to pasture and how they control their progress through vocal commands. Met this woman and her sheep near Broza. She said her sheep weren’t listening well today and laughed and continued on.
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The camino stayed on the road until the left turn into San Lourenzo. Here arrows took the path through an extremely overgrown trail and then on to a wider cleared path through a long stretch between stone walls. If there is the option, I would recommend long pants through the overgrown part. All along the path there were many nettles and other prickly things. A spot where my poles definitely come in handy, as I bushwhacked through! This path is probably quite a mucky mess in wet weather but today fine and it was actually a relief to be on it after the long haul on tarmac.

The path led out to Piñeiro where there is a wonderful spot on a stone bench at the fountain to rest or have a picnic lunch.

As I was leaving Piñeiro, there was a bull directly in my path who was not responding to his farmer’s commands. The farmer gave a whistle and a beautiful little border collie came racing around the corner and got that bull moving. The collie followed the bull for a bit then turned and came running toward me. He stopped at my feet, looked up, wagged his tail and then ran off after the farmer. It’s like he wanted to tell me the path was clear, all was okay. Loved that moment. Interesting how dogs are so present on this camino for me...a fine balance of friendly and not.

After a ways along the road again, arrows take you on to another stone walled green path into (I think Camiño Grande). I was a bit unclear as to the names of a lot of the little hamlets I passed through today. Some were sign posted and some not.

The road led to a busier highway junction with many (very many!) directional signs. Most importantly, the one I was looking for, pointing left to Torre Vilariño where I was staying for the night - a short 400 metre walk along the highway.

Torre Vilariño is a lovely place to stay. Beautiful room and gardens. When I arrived they were insanely busy though, serving lunch to about 50 people from a tour bus. I managed to get a drink and some chips but wasn’t able to order lunch. They don’t serve dinner until 9:00pm. There is nothing else around so it’s a good idea to have snacks to sustain you till mealtimes.
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I went for a walk and discovered, about 200 metres up the road, the ethnological museam, Ecomuseo
Arxeriz.
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I highly recommend a visit here. The museum is dedicated to preserving the culture of the peoples of the Miño and especially of the many villages that were lost because of damming on the river.

There is a castro on the site, still under excavation that you can walk through and it’s situated with a beautiful view of the bend in the Miño River.
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A great way to occupy my time while waiting for the 9:00 dinner!
 

VNwalking

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The collie followed the bull for a bit then turned and came running toward me. He stopped at my feet, looked up, wagged his tail and then ran off after the farmer
He tried to climb into my lap, and the farmer said he was everybody's friend. I have a special soft spot for BCs, and he was beauty, though a muddy one. Maybe this is the dog to cure you, @peregrina2000 ?;)
 

Theatregal

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Day 10. Vilariño to Chantada

A very foggy moody morning, leaving Vilariño. I left later than I like to but breakfast isn’t served till 9:00am. Susanna, who runs Torre Vilariño talked me into staying for breakfast. She said “To Chantada it’s easy. A bit of up a bit of down and you’ll be there quickly.” 😊 Okay.

From the multi signed crossroads it’s a nice walk on a quiet country road through multiple hamlets to Diomondi. During the whole 7.5 km stretch only 3 or 4 cars passed.

Really enjoyed seeing San Pelagio de Diomondi. Spent some time there looking at all the details and beautiful carvings above the doors. As always with these beautiful old churches it’s so important to circle around the whole building. So much more than just the front facade. I forget to do that sometimes.
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Of course I also had to do a good thorough search for @VNwalking ‘s credential, which I was convinced I’d find in the tall grass, damp, stamps a bit smudged, but intact. Still surprised I didn’t find it 😊

I loved the next part of the walk - the steep switch back descent through old growth forest along the remains of a Roman road and then through terraced vineyards, all the while catching glimpses of the river far below, the terraced slopes on the other side and then that first beautiful view of Belesar and it’s bridge. Spectacular!
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So cool, too, the stone steps set into the wall to give quick access to the vineyard.
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Winding down through the village, I think I found the house I would buy if I had (a lot!) of money and time to renovate. Situated on a friendly street, elevated with a good view on the bridge side, a back garden leading off the kitchen and a garage. Not really serious but for some reason I was taken with this little ruin.
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I had hoped the marina restaurant, Abaceria o Batuxo would be open but it wasn’t. I crossed the bridge and had a nice rest on a bench before starting the ascent.

The ascent begins immediately out of the village, the first part along the road. As always, for me, climbs like this are always made easier by the stunning vistas that open up as you ascend higher. Lots of reasons to stop, admire, take a photo.
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The camino alternates between road sections and off road dirt paths. About half way up the ascent, a road stretch takes you to the restaurant Mesón Adega do Veiga. I arrived at about 2:30pm and it was still open for lunch. I had heard good reviews about the food but to be honest on this day it wasn’t that great. The empanadas were close to burnt and the salad veggies not fresh. Guess it was an off day for the chef. The people were wonderful though and it was a welcome break.

Soon after leaving the restaurant, arrows take you off the road onto a short steep descent into a lush green gully and across a stream on steppingstones past a lovely old stone house? stone mill?
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Saw a most beautiful blue dragonfly who was so kind to stay still long enough for me to photograph it.
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The path immediately ascends again to another short walk along the road. The next ascent that takes you off road is signposted, San Pedro de Lincora, 1.9 km. This part, which leads to the road again was very overgrown and muddy. Shoe covering wet muck and a struggle in parts to wack through the folliage. A lot of flying insects here too. It was a difficult stretch and this is the only part of the whole ascent (on this day) where it would have been better to stay on the road.

There is one more off road section, leading to the road and into San Pedro and the rest of the way downhill on the road into Chantada. On the outskirts of the city, I had a surprising dog encounter. I could see a couple of men ahead standing at a car with 2 dogs, German Shepherds. They were off leash and soon as they saw me they started running towards me barking and growling. They came in behind me bumping against my sticks. The men didn’t do anything till I yelled “Call them off!”. They did and the dogs responded but no apology or concern. Didn’t expect a dog problem in the city!

Finding my way into Chantada and my lodging for the night (Hotel Mogay) was straight forward. All in all a really great day.
 
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marilyn van graan

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A wonderful Day 1 on the Invierno which should have been my Day 2.

I had to adjust my plan slightly when my checked luggage didn’t arrive with me in Santiago. I arrived on Thursday with the plan of taking a bus to Ponferrada early Friday morning and arriving with enough time to walk to Villavieja. I had my pack with me as carry on but my walking poles and a few other camino items were in my checked bag. My bag didn’t arrive until late Friday morning which didn’t give me enough time to get to both Ponferrada and on to Villavieja.

Stayed in Ponferrada Friday night and took a taxi Saturday morning to Villavieja to walk to Las Medulas where I had booked two nights.

When I arrived at Villavieja, the village was shrouded in fog and mist. So quiet. Beautiful and eerie as I started to walk. Around the bend to the right, up above the left of the church, and on a little bit more, there is a driveway on the left. Four dogs came charging and barking out of the driveway. They circled around me and then went behind me. Very scary for a moment but I just stayed calm, kept walking, whispering “It’s okay, it’s okay”, praying they weren’t in a biting mood! The dogs followed for a few seconds but then went back to their driveway. A little further along, a very old mastiff tottered out of his yard, barked a bit to show me he still had it, then returned to his yard. So...my dog experience for the day.

Such a lovely walk through the village and into the woods. Soft paths and ancient trees, wildflowers and interesting bugs to photograph. As the path started to descend, the fog and mist were lifting and all of a sudden, there it was! Castillo de Cornatel. Such a lovely sight high on the hill with the remains of the mist moving past and the colours of the foliage on the slopes. The attendant arrived just as I did and he said the castle would open at 11:00am, in 20 minutes. He also told me that entry is free for pilgrims with a credential. Had a great time poking about, exploring and taking photos.

Leaving the castle, part way down the path is the sign for “the most beautiful bench in Bierzo”. It really is worth it to follow the path to the bench for a spectacular view and different perspective of the castle. Continuing on and looking back at the views of the castle and into Borrenes.

Bar Casa Marisol was open and she made a great lunch of eggs, potatoes and salad. Another pilgrim came in while I was there ~ the only one I saw all day. He was Spanish, 78 years old, from Santiago and on his first camino. Fueled by a great lunch and great conversation via my poor Spanish, his little bit of English and google translate, I continued on.

As with the first sudden view of the castle, the first view of the orange peaks of Las Medulas was fantastic. I booked 2 nights at Casa Rural Agoga and I’ll have a full day to explore.

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Love your photos - do you mind if I save one for painting reference material - buen camino - thank you for sharing your journey - I hope to walk this way in September
 

Theatregal

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Day 11. Chantada to Penasillas and San Pedro de Viana

A good well marked way leaving Chantada along city roads. Very quickly you encounter a “Petos de las Ánimas”, a medieval shrine with a sculpted image of souls in purgatory. Offerings could be left in the box under the shrine on behalf of the poor souls.
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Just past the shrine a mojón takes the camino off road and through the hamlet of Centulle, leading to a dirt service road. The service road runs beside the highway for a bit and then meanders away and becomes a quieter country road. Very peaceful on this morning, clear air, beautiful bird song.
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The road passes through the hamlet of Boan.
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Many (if not most) of the mojóns along the Invierno are new looking. I liked seeing the one leading out of Boan. It’s older with a worn ceramic shell tile - pointing in the wrong direction 😊 but with a trusty right direction pointing arrow.
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Continuing through the hamlets of Lucenza and Vilaseco, you arrive very soon at Penasillas. There is a wonderful very welcoming bar here - Cantina o Peto. I had coffee and delicious cake before continuing off camino for 3 km to the Casa Rural As Casas. A very short walking day but I wanted to break this stage up and start the Monte Faro climb fresh in the morning.

As Casas is a beautiful place to stay with wonderful hosts Liván and Emilia.
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Theatregal

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Day 12 Penasillas to Rodeiro

After a fantastic (9:00am😊) breakfast at As Casas, Liván was kind enough to give me a lift back to Penasillas for the start of this day’s walk over the Montes de Faro to Rodeiro.

The cafe was open, so one last coffee, sitting outside before beginning the immediate ascent out of the village.

A woman carrying two buckets of milk came around the side of the church toward me and stopped to ask if I was a peregrina, if I was sola, where I was from and would I like to see her feed the babies? She gestured for me to follow her to a stone building to the left of the square and opened a door. Inside were four beautiful calves.
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I watched for a bit as the woman told me about her little dairy farm. I thanked her and said I better stop delaying and start my climb. “Be strong” she said and I was on my way.

The start is just down a short lane from the cafe and in that time three people directed me ahead with a smile and a straight up gesture, including a lovely elderly woman whose house is at the start of the path - she leaned out of her upper window, waving and wishing me a good journey, pointing me in the right direction 😁

It was a cool morning, dark clouds looming with drizzly rain starting as I began the 5 km ascent. Any view that may have been there was completely obscured by fog and mist.

I have to say that this was a tough day. The rain was intermittent. It would drizzle, then pour for several minutes and then ease off again.

There was one stretch of a km or so, leading up to a crossroads with a stone monolith, when the rain stopped for a bit and the road eased into more of a gentle up and down.
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It was raining heavily again when I arrived at the stone steps on the left, leading up through a grassy area and the Stations of the Cross. My shoes became completely soaked on this part of the climb up through the grass.
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I have to say though, despite the rain and fog, there was something so eerily beautiful about this stretch between the stone steps and the Ermita. Very silent, other than the rain in the trees and some bird song until almost at the top when I started to hear hammering and power tools.
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The Ermita de Nosa Señora do Monte do Faro was getting a new roof!

Still very foggy at the top with no views to be seen. The ermita of course was not open but I spent some time looking around the site.

As I made my way to the parking lot and the start of the descent, I looked up at the lookout tower, the point that marks the geographical center of Galicia.

I was cold. It was raining again. My feet were soaked. I thought, what’s the point of going up there? There won’t be a view. Looking back I couldn’t even see the ermita through the fog. I started the descent and as I walked, thoughts of...Caryn the view isn’t the point. Why have you climbed all this way only to not continue and complete all parts of this day’s journey. I continued down about 200 metres, stopped and looked back. I saw a service trail leading up on the right of the road. Without another thought, I started climbing back up along that trail to the lookout tower. I was rewarded. Not with a clearing, giving me a view of all four Galician provinces, but still with beauty as the mist drifted, revealing the ermita and with a feeling of purpose as I stood at that geographically important spot.
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Once again I started the descent. Rain was still intermittent but I could see clearing in the clouds ahead. The next part of the walk (slog!) along the road and the almost 6 km of constant drone and hum from the ridge of windmills was the toughest part of the day - of any day on this camino.
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Perhaps because of the humidity and on & off rain, black flies were thick, swarming at times around my head and hands.

Midway down, the fog did begin to lift though, revealing beautiful vistas.
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It was a relief to finally reach the highway and continue on softer paths through farmland and hamlets.
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I stopped at the bar in O Recanto, a couple of km’s before Rodeiro for a rest and a longed for café con leche. A wild little place that was! Seemed like all the men in town were coming in after their work day for a drink, chat, game of cards. It became obvious pretty quickly that I was sitting at a regular card game table. I moved with my coffee to the bar and my table was immediately full 😁

Fueled for the final stretch, I made my way into Rodeiro and with relief quickly found my lodging for the night - the Hostal Carpinteiras.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
The next part of the walk (slog!) along the road and the almost 6 km of constant drone and hum from the ridge of windmills was the toughest part of the day - of any day on this camino.
For me too. Physically it was easy, mentally absolutely not. And I had views and a gorgeous day.

Next time I might 'break the rules' and go down on the other road. The ones with all the Xs at the top, saying this isn't the way... ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
For me too. Physically it was easy, mentally absolutely not. And I had views and a gorgeous day.

Next time I might 'break the rules' and go down on the other road. The ones with all the Xs at the top, saying this isn't the way... ;)
Ladies,
Me too, the only time I wondered 'what the heck am I doing' during my days on the invierno.
Thanks for taking me back on the journey.
Buen Camino
MaryEllen 99B34FBC-657F-47E9-91B3-CBD0E52807B8.jpeg3E4ACF0A-4149-4C5D-B6D3-F8115D3B02BC.jpeg
The first pic my son took upside down on purpose, looking back it really shows how I felt that day....
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
For me too. Physically it was easy, mentally absolutely not. And I had views and a gorgeous day.

Next time I might 'break the rules' and go down on the other road. The ones with all the Xs at the top, saying this isn't the way... ;)
For me too. Physically it was easy, mentally absolutely not. And I had views and a gorgeous day.

Next time I might 'break the rules' and go down on the other road. The ones with all the Xs at the top, saying this isn't the way... ;)
The way with all the XX s would have led you on a much longer, much more roundabout way to Rodeiro. There is a way to “break the rules” but that isn’t the way to do it. I will take pictures tomorrow and explain.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
The way with all the XX s would have led you on a much longer, much more roundabout way to Rodeiro.
On the map it looks roundabout, yes, but still shorter. Here's a screenshot from my OSMand map; it looks like there are 2 possibilities, one going into Rodeiro via San Paio and Aldea, the other a little shorter going through Loureiro and Vilaxusta, and then across to Trasulfe and joining the regular way in Barbeitos. Maybe some locals will say why that won't work? (You can see the regular Invierno route in purple.)
 

Attachments

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Day 3. Las Medulas to Puente de Domingo Florez

A very pleasant walk out of town. Cool temperatures, some cloud with the sun shining through every so often. Lots of interesting flora and fauna to photograph. Turning back now and then for last beautiful views of Las Medulas.
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All the while, ambling along, keeping an eye out for waymarks. At the top of the first rise, there is a junction with a sign pointing the way to the Mirador Pedrices. The camino points another direction and starts the descent to Puente de Domingo Florez. Beautiful vistas ahead as the quiet road winds it’s way down the mountain.
View attachment 59147
Somehow, at some point along this road I discovered a special variant. I have no idea how 😁 and I don’t really recommend it even though it brought me a great experience and most of the route was lovely! I remember a marker some time after the junction with the Mirador Pedrices but then no other markers were appearing as I continued the road descent. At 4km a small village appeared ahead.
View attachment 59174
As I got closer there was a sign that said Yeres, pointing to a road to the right and into the village. There was a road to the left which appeared to bypass the village. Yeres was not mentioned in any of the guide info I had and I knew that I must have missed a waymark somewhere and taken a different way. I could not figure out how though as it seemed that there was only one road descending at the earlier junction.

I decided to continue on for a bit, taking the road to the left of the village and see what was ahead. It was a beautiful day and I was loving the walk. The road ultimately wound around and entered Yeres from the other end. There was a woman sitting on a bench in front of her house - she looked so surprised to see me! I asked if the camino passed here. She laughed and said no and asked where I was from and where I was going. I said Puente de Domingo Flórez and she said it was 9km further along the road. She told me to come with her and started walking up the street. I thought she was going to show me the way out but she stopped and banged on the window of a house and called out. An elderly man came out and she told him to get his car to give me a ride to town. I said no, no I wanted to walk. They were so lovely! It took some convincing to assure them that my purpose was walking. They walked me to the road out of town and sent me off with “Go with God”. A really lovely encounter.
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Leaving Yeres, the road was quiet and wound down through fields for 2.5 km before joining with the busy main road at Las Vegas.
View attachment 59142
After a km along the road, the walking became a bit intense for the final 5km into Puente de Domingo Flórez. The road was very busy with no shoulder at all on the left side - just a metal guardrail against the road and a drop off on the other side. On the right side there was a drainage ditch along the road that I could step down into on blind corners.

The views were beautiful though of the river and mountains on the left, passing a dam and eventually arriving with a very pretty first view of Puente de Domingo Flórez.
View attachment 59171View attachment 59143
I still have no idea where I went wrong with the route today but ultimately...it was right 😁
What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Vegas. Long as you make it to Puente de Domingo Florez!!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
On the map it looks roundabout, yes, but still shorter. Here's a screenshot from my OSMand map; it looks like there are 2 possibilities, one going into Rodeiro via San Paio and Aldea, the other a little shorter going through Loureiro and Vilaxusta, and then across to Trasulfe and joining the regular way in Barbeitos. Maybe some locals will say why that won't work? (You can see the regular Invierno route in purple.)
I will need your help to figure this out when I’m home. I had forgotten I was talking to the Map Master. 😄. I just said that based on the comments of others over the years who have sent stuff in for the guide.

I took a picture of the signs where the yellow X is. It says Rodeiro and Asperelo. But I don’t see Asperelo on your map. We will figure it out, I’m sure.

The Australian I met took the road route alternative that avoids Monte Faro. He said it was pleasant. I’ll have to do some more work on that as well. I am a big fan of the ascent, but those kms along the line of windmills easily fits within the definition of “slog.”
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I am a big fan of the ascent, but those kms along the line of windmills easily fits within the definition of “slog.”
I loved everything until the Xs, and once at the Pazo at the bottom of the hill. But that endless slog along the ridge was definitely mind work!
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
It’s good to know that there’s an alternative to Monte (de?) Faro.

The Invierno looks sooo good... and a lot of it might well be beyond commin sense for my own individual circumstances, but perhaps I could manage some of it.. the less remote parts, perhaps ...
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
Day 13 Rodeiro to Lalin

Don’t know why but I had the best sleep of this camino at the Hostal Carpintieras. I woke feeling so rested and ready for this last full day walking on the Invierno.

It was a nice, easy rambling walk today, starting with a couple of kms along the road before turning onto a quiet path along freshly plowed fields and through wooded areas.
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Saw a European Peacock butterfly! First one I’ve seen. Colour and life in the muddy path.
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Soon after turning off the highway I was passed by an all female cycling club from Madrid who I had met just before Rodeiro the day before. They also stayed at the Hostal Carpinteiras that night. A fun high energy group of 22 cyclists ranging in age from 20 to 65. They had started in Ponferrada.

The path was very muddy and wet in places but I was always able to get through it okay by stepping stones or along the edges of the path. In one place, very grateful for whoever had created a little sidewalk out of granite slabs!
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At Penda, stopped for a bit to study the imposing monument made by a farmer in honour of former King Carlos. Statues, photographs, framed letters and documents. Devotion at the highest level.
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A little further down the road, is the possible source of the granite used in the monument. A mine site where the trucks and machinery are dwarfed by the massive cut-away slabs along the side of the mountain.
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Interesting little 12th century bridge at Eirexa. To the left, just before crossing the bridge, it looks like there are earlier parts of the bridge lower down along the river and a little higher on the left with the remains of a stone cross.
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All along this camino I’ve been musing on how a simple re-design of future mojóns (as they need to be replaced) could greatly aid the pilgrim who longs for just once in awhile (maybe every 5km or so) on these long stretches without services, a bench to rest on for a bit. Can’t remember the name of the hamlet but next to the mojón is a little covered bench. As I rested, a woman passed, bringing her cows to pasture across the road.
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It was like watching a little movie through the borders of the shelter. The woman crossed back and stopped to talk. I asked her if the shelter was a bus stop. She said no, it was built for pilgrims to rest! A little fancier than my re-design thoughts 😊and so appreciated.
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Beautiful stone walled pastoral views along the rest of the way into Lalin. A lovely way to end this final full Invierno day and look forward to the last few km into A Laxe tomorrow before joining the Sanabres.
 
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Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
Day 14. Lalin to Silleda

Leaving Lalin easily via directions posted by @VNwalking Thank you! I was looking forward to this day. I walked the Sanabres last year with my dear friend Helen @fortview and remembered the stage from Estacion Lalin to Silleda as a memorable day.

I was past the albergue in A Laxe and on the highway looking for the wonderful cafe I stopped at last year when I realized that somehow I missed the final Invierno marker! Ah well.
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Turning off the highway leads through a green tunnel path and along stone walls and farm fields, arriving very soon at a stone bridge over the Rio Deza.
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Last year Helen and I continued over the bridge while admiring the views, completely missing the arrow to the left before the bridge. It turned out to be a happy accident because once across the bridge and another 200 metres or so, is the Taboada Railway Station. It’s a beautiful old station with a little cafe.
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Opening hours depend on train schedules but it was open then and we had a great coffee stop there. The man in the cafe told us we had missed the turnoff to go down to the Taboada bridge.

I didn’t make the detour to the station this time but it is worth it if you need a coffee / bathroom stop. There are great views of the bridges from that side as well.

So, making the correct turn this time 😊 leads down a path under the arched rail bridge and further down along an old stone road to the beautiful medieval Taboada Bridge.
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I was alone here and found this place as magical this time as the last. If you’re feeling adventurous there are other little side paths to explore leading to the river including a set of stone steps under a low opening on the left side at the beginning of the bridge.
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Soon after crossing the bridge, look for the stone on the left with an inscription in latin from the builders of the bridge.
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The path winds up leading to the highway and a detour across to the Romanesque church of St. James. I missed stopping here last year and was so happy to find it open. Had a nice stop and chat with the wonderful volunteer who answered all my questions as I had a good look around.
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Crossing back over the highway, the camino leads off road and back through farmland and along a stone path that last year was a muddy slippery stream. Other than one shorter wet area, it was much drier this year but I was still very grateful for my poles for stability while navigating through!
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Continuing on, is a beautiful tree shaded stretch along a quiet road
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leading into the outskirts of Silleda and quickly into town and the Hostal Ramos. It was a wonderful walking day!
 
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Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
Day 15. Silleda to Ponte Ulla

Leaving Silleda, I stopped to look at the wonderful mural celebrating Galician writers and "some of the most beautiful words in Galego ".
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A moody cloudy morning with a nice fresh breeze. I’m enjoying walking these days on the Sanabres again - so many varieties of wildflowers lining the path.
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I had hoped the 12th century Igrexa de San Martiño de Dornelas would be open. A friend who walked this way recently, told me there was a beautiful wood ceiling worth a good look. Unfortunately it was closed.
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I stopped for coffee and cake at the albergue Casa Leiras run by the wonderful Italian couple, Andrea and Cristina. Had a nice chat with them - would really like to stay there sometime.

Just before A Estrada, in a wooded area, is a shrine in a hollowed out tree where people have left notes, photos, trinkets. I don’t remember this being here last year. A nice place for a rest because someone has built some little benches! Thank you!
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I remembered a cafe on the left side of the road in San Miguel de Castro. Saw no sign of it this year.

After a steep descent, it’s a pretty entry into Ponte Ulla, over the bridge and past the Igrexa Santa Maria Magdelena and then up the stairs beside the highway bridge to the albergue / pension O’ Cruceiro.
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If you’re okay with heights, and can cross about half way across the highway bridge, there is a beautiful view over Ponte Ulla and it’s bridges.
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Postscript: This was my last walking day and the first time that I wouldn’t walk into Santiago at the end of my camino. I woke the next morning in Ponte Ulla feeling very weary and not well. With 3 weeks of travel still ahead of me, I decided to listen to my body and take the bus into Santiago this last day. It was a good decision.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
It was a wonderful walking day!
For me too.
But I missed the side trip to the station.
And I have NO idea how I missed that stone with the inscription. *&%#!
I guess I have to go back. :cool:

Congratulations, Caryn, and thank you for sharing your walk with us all!
Buen viaje - ultreia!
V
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I loved everything until the Xs, and once at the Pazo at the bottom of the hill. But that endless slog along the ridge was definitely mind work!
Oh dear.
I must be the only one that loved that walk down from the Ermita
The scenery was lovely....lots of greenery and all those little farms with the mountains in the distance.
Then again, it was a nice sunny day
I didn't mind the sound of the windmills either........strange but true!!
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
Day 15. Silleda to Ponte Ulla

Leaving Silleda, I stopped to look at the wonderful mural celebrating Galician writers and "some of the most beautiful words in Galego ".
View attachment 60978View attachment 60979View attachment 60983
A moody cloudy morning with a nice fresh breeze. I’m enjoying walking these days on the Sanabres again - so many varieties of wildflowers lining the path.
View attachment 60980View attachment 60981
I had hoped the 12th century Igrexa de San Martiño de Dornelas would be open. A friend who walked this way recently, told me there was a beautiful wood ceiling worth a good look. Unfortunately it was closed.
View attachment 60977
I stopped for coffee and cake at the albergue Casa Leiras run by the wonderful Italian couple, Andrea and Cristina. Had a nice chat with them - would really like to stay there sometime.

Just before A Estrada, in a wooded area, is a shrine in a hollowed out tree where people have left notes, photos, trinkets. I don’t remember this being here last year. A nice place for a rest because someone has built some little benches! Thank you!
View attachment 60984
I remembered a cafe on the left side of the road in San Miguel de Castro. Saw no sign of it this year.

After a steep descent, it’s a pretty entry into Ponte Ulla, over the bridge and past the Igrexa Santa Maria Magdelena and then up the stairs beside the highway bridge to the albergue / pension O’ Cruceiro.
View attachment 60967View attachment 60968
If you’re okay with heights, and can cross about half way across the highway bridge, there is a beautiful view over Ponte Ulla and it’s bridges.
View attachment 60982

Postscript: This was my last walking day and the first time that I wouldn’t walk into Santiago at the end of my camino. I woke the next morning in Ponte Ulla feeling very weary and not well. With 3 weeks of travel still ahead of me, I decided to listen to my body and take the bus into Santiago this last day. It was a good decision.
Rest.

Looking forward to your hale and hearty post.

❤🙏🏽❤
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
😁 All hale and hearty!
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I had a restful 4 night / 3 day stay in Santiago, staying at San Martin Pinario in my favourite room 420 (by chance!) with it’s incredible view on high of the angels at the top of the Church of San Francisco.
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Fun to experience Noche de San Juan!
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Happy to have the chance to meet @ivar and @natefaith and I walked many km’s around the city visiting favourite places...
B775A1A9-1466-4C1E-B901-1F5B995318F0.jpeg8614A324-257C-49C5-96BD-497756E7C668.jpeg
...and museums. Finally saw the amazing Domingo de Andrade staircase at the Convent of San Domingos de Bonoval.
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I continued on to Ireland for a lovely trip with my mother and sister. In Dublin I had the wonderful opportunity to meet @VNwalking and @kirkie !! We shared a delicious meal, conversation and a walk.

After a day stop in Amsterdam and a visit with my dear friend @Simon Wijma I’m now in the Cotswolds visiting with more dear friends @fortview and then onward to home in a few days. I’m amazed and grateful for the rich, varied and nourishing journey I’ve had these past weeks and especially for the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. Grateful for the knowledge provided by people who have walked this route before me and to @peregrina2000 and all those who contributed information in the creation of an extremely helpful guide! To all: Ultreia!
 
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Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
I must visit that old train station on my next walk there. Thank you for your mistake last year ;)
I walked up past it in April when I did a few stages. It was closed. You then get up to the main road and have a long uphill slog until you get to the church at the top (nice Tasca on the other side, though!).
 

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