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Crossing from Primitivo to Norte - Yes You Can!

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#1
I am excited to share the news that José from Friol @xmsg has been out this week refreshing the green arrows on the crossover route from Lugo on the Primitivo, to Sobrado dos Monxes on the Norte - affectionately known as El Camino Verde. Horay! He has also updated his blog with new downloadable directions (links below).

Firstly, let me sell this alternative to you:
  • Keeps you off the busyness of the Camino Frances as long as possible
  • Quiet, peaceful, very rural - no merchandise, no crowds, no hassle
  • Beautiful - old mills and bridges, peaceful river, nice views
  • Lovely old farm and forest tracks, not much asphalt
  • Feels quite adventurous (ie you have to make an effort, not just walk like a sheep in a flock)
  • Bookable, friendly and cheap pension halfway at Friol, both stages are very do-able distances
  • Friendly people, especially the lady in the Bar Suso in O Mesón who treats crossover pilgrims like royalty
  • Fellow pilgrims will be surprised and excited to find out you went 'off-piste'
  • You get to stay with the monks of Sobrado who are supposed to live in silence, but chat for Spain
  • Lush municipal swimming pools at Friol and Sobrado in summer, and good town facilities
  • People who've done it say it was the highlight of their whole camino
If you want to do it you'll need either the German guide to the Primitivo by Raimund Joos and Michael Kaspar, and/or the downloads of José. Don't expect help from the pilgrim office or the albergue in Lugo, who think this is all a bit unofficial. Who cares?

I append below links to José's blog pages with downloads (please post your support as a comment on his blog as it helps him get official support) and also to other threads on this forum which discuss the Green Camino.

Detailed questions just ask our own José @xmsg
Also thanks to the people on this forum who gave me the impetus to try the route @timr @Castilian @petro

Just Do It!

IMG_2210.jpg

José's blog pages with downloads in English, maps and Wikiloc routes
http://estradasecorredoiras.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Camiño de Santiago: Lugo-Friol
http://estradasecorredoiras.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Camiño de Santiago: Friol-Sobrado dos Monxes

Threads on the Forum
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/lugo-to-sobrado-2016.40889/
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/alternative-way-from-lugo-to-santiago.7380/
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/lugo-to-sobrado-not-missing-santa-eulalia.24326/
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/in-sobrado-dos-monxes.40795/
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#8
Linky link pretty please ;-) Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#10
Reading José's blog I would like to say that opening a path in Galicia with a sickle is a very hard work depending on the distance and the presence of gorses and brambles. And if there are few people walking this task must be done every year.
 
S

Satírico

Guest
#11
Interesting. Another option and one I know that a few people I met on the primitivo would have relished; for my part, I was excited to find myself recognising places on the frances and thus be able to recommend a stop-off or even a stop-over.

Maybe next time it'll be a green year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#12
@Philip347 Philip if you are half tempted, I would say go for it next time!
If you (as I recall?) survived the path from Lourdes, it will hold no fear and something of the same rewards! And it is only two days.
Tim
 
Camino(s) past & future
(09/2013)
#16
@Old Koot I can't but just scroll down the pages and look for the words 'english'
Got it, with my humble apologies for being too soon old and too late smart.

Again, still being old and slow, when in Friol, to what does "the only pension which is Casa Benigno (982375028), with comfortable rooms and great value / price" translate in terms of cost in Euros. Also, any ideal as to capacity, as I'm sure perhaps too many will want to avoid for a day or two more the unwashed hordes scurrying through the Camino Francis, given this alternative.

Same questions for "Nearby are the cottages Casa de Martiño (982163700) and A Regoela (982183746)."

thx
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#17
I think the Benigno is EUR 15 for the cheapest room, that was just for me, so not sure if it would be more if the room was shared. It is quite big - I seem to remember she said 20 rooms. Don't know anything about the cottages.
 

xmsg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo biking (2015)
#18
Hi

@notion900 Sarah, thanks for uploading the links to my blog. I´m making some improvements in "O camiño verde" (the green path) for next year, I´ll send you when I finish...

@Old Koot You can get more information about Friol and links about Casa de Martiño and A Regoela (now is called BiTerra) in my blog: estradasecorredoiras
I have not update information about prices and capacity in Casa Benigno. I am going to ask them... But I´m NOT sure perhaps too many will want to avoid for a day or two more the unwashed hordes scurrying through the Camino Frances. Before yesterday one person came following O camiño verde, 2 people yesterday and 3 people (a crowd!) today... :)

José Manuel
 

xmsg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo biking (2015)
#19
@Old Koot Casa Benigno has 30 rooms and the prices for pilgrims goes from 16€ single room to 30€ double room, and a good menu for 10€.
In summer, usually there are available rooms but is better to take a reservation because some days there are numerous groups, especially the week end. (Tomorrow they expect about 15 people, perhaps too many will want to avoid .... :))

Bó camiño
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#20
It's exciting that more people want to do it. Yes it should be called by its Gallego name. I have amended the Resource.

Thanks to José Manuel @xmsg for all he has done and continues to do.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
(09/2013)
#21
@Old Koot Casa Benigno has 30 rooms and the prices for pilgrims goes from 16€ single room to 30€ double room, and a good menu for 10€. In summer, usually there are available rooms but is better to take a reservation because some days there are numerous groups, especially the week end. Bó camiño
Will the route mid-October still be manageable regarding weather and the accommodations available ?
 
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notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#22
It could be muddy. I think the Pension Benigno is open all year round, @xmsg can you confirm that? You may have to track someone down to open up for you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#23
@Old Koot
Casa Benigno
Address: Rosalía de Castro, 15, 27220 Friol, Lugo, Spain
Phone: +34 982 37 50 28
It was entirely closed when I arrived, unbooked, on a Sunday afternoon. I was unoptimistic when I called the number on the door. Someone came from inside to welcome me within a minute! I presume on other days the bar would be open. It was open for breakfast on the Monday morning when I left.
Agree it could be muddy - it was in May, which could be similar. But don't let that put you off ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#24
I'm reading all of this with great interest again. We're making really good progress on the Primitivo and this variant might just be an option.

I have one very specific question - are there any potential issues with eligibility for a compostela? It's hard to research this properly from my phone, so apologies if this is a silly question - but I haven't quite figured whether it involves the final 100kms of a recognised route.

Normally this wouldn't be a big concern for us, but we are walking this year in memory of a recently deceased family member. We'd like his name to be included on Damian's compostela, so I don't want to risk any problems.

Thanks in anticipation!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#25
Hi Nuala from Happy Hour in Bayonne!
There was no issue for me. I can't imagine they looked too closely, but I got Compostela OK. I don't think their is any specification about route is there? I had >2 sellos per day from Lugo.
You could get one as you leave Lugo in the morning. If you already have Cathedral, there is a church at top end of main Plaza, away from cathedral end, in a street to the left almost on corner. Or, you will pass Roots and Boots hostel as you leave the city which will be open. It's on the main Camino route before it divides. It's on the left as you home down a hill. You can't miss it.
You can get one at Pension Benigno in Friol and also in smart looking glass and wood modern bar next to Parish church on way in to Friol. If you miss it its only 0.5km back out from Pension . The bar is not as upmarket as it looks! The church is crumbling.
Next day the bar you come to just as you join the Norte will give you one. If you tell her you came from Friol she may give you a cake too. And the monastery in Sobrado can give you one. If you miss the bar, there is another albergue in Sobrado.
Good luck and Buen Camino.
Tim
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2008 April/May) (2011 May/June) (2014 May/June), Camino Primitivo (May 2016)
#27
I just had a look in my credential - I had one stamp in Friol (Casa Benigno) two in Sobrado (monastery and albergue) and there was no problem in getting my compostella.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#28
Thanks folks. We've arrived in Lugo and we'll decide later what to do. I'm not going to worry about the compostela issue. It's good to know that it probably won't be an problem, so that's good enough for now.

There has been a lot of talk about this variant, as quite a few German pilgrims are using the Raimund Joos book. There could be a pilgrim wave in Friol tomorrow!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#29
Thanks folks. We've arrived in Lugo and we'll decide later what to do. I'm not going to worry about the compostela issue. It's good to know that it probably won't be an problem, so that's good enough for now.

There has been a lot of talk about this variant, as quite a few German pilgrims are using the Raimund Joos book. There could be a pilgrim wave in Friol tomorrow!
@NualaOC well done. Whatever you decide - enjoy it. It could be nice to have a few extra for moral support if you go that way. Weekend will be extra quiet along the way for locals. I did Sunday-Monday and saw no one on the Sunday. I hope the Germans are not too......."Germanic"....:);):(:Das the green arrows don't match completely the book! The arrows take you a few more km along the river at start which is nice.
I've reached Espelette and the albergue is closed for "bedbug issues". Maybe they have run out?? :) But great pilgrim rate in hotel for dinner, bed & breakfast. I've seen where there would have been plenty of mud - but none today!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#30
@NualaOC well done. Whatever you decide - enjoy it. It could be nice to have a few extra for moral support if you go that way. Weekend will be extra quiet along the way for locals. I did Sunday-Monday and saw no one on the Sunday. I hope the Germans are not too......."Germanic"....:);):(:Das the green arrows don't match completely the book! The arrows take you a few more km along the river at start which is nice.
I've reached Espelette and the albergue is closed for "bedbug issues". Maybe they have run out?? :) But great pilgrim rate in hotel for dinner, bed & breakfast. I've seen where there would have been plenty of mud - but none today!
Thanks Tim, we'll decide over drinks and tapas soon - oh, the stress of it all!

Enjoy Esplette - it's a pretty little place, isn't it? Or maybe I was unduly influenced by the free samples in the chocolate factory. :)
 
#31
Thanks Tim, we'll decide over drinks and tapas soon - oh, the stress of it all!

Enjoy Esplette - it's a pretty little place, isn't it? Or maybe I was unduly influenced by the free samples in the chocolate factory. :)
Hi, Nuala,
You could postpone your decision a bit more by walking tomorrow to Ferreira (which gets you to one of the two great albergues there run by Juanma), and then walk from Ferreira to Sobrado the next day. that would also give you the option of detouring to the lovely, absolutely lovely, Roman (painted) crypt under the churc at Santa Eulalia de Boveda.

There are ways to make the walk from Ferreira to intersect with the Friol "green route", and Juanma can give you the info. Let us know what you do -- I had hoped to go to Sobrado from Ferreira, but my group of 15 was insistent that they were not going to take a detour so I went along with the gang. Buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#33
Hi, Nuala,
You could postpone your decision a bit more by walking tomorrow to Ferreira (which gets you to one of the two great albergues there run by Juanma), and then walk from Ferreira to Sobrado the next day. that would also give you the option of detouring to the lovely, absolutely lovely, Roman (painted) crypt under the churc at Santa Eulalia de Boveda.

There are ways to make the walk from Ferreira to intersect with the Friol "green route", and Juanma can give you the info. Let us know what you do -- I had hoped to go to Sobrado from Ferreira, but my group of 15 was insistent that they were not going to take a detour so I went along with the gang. Buen camino, Laurie
Thanks Laurie, another option to consider! It's fiesta time in Lugo this weekend (San Froilan) so there's a great atmosphere in the city. We will probably postpone our decision until tomorrow morning. It may be based on how much sleep we get tonight and how many kms we're capable of walking.

There's no urgency about anything on this Camino, it is just perfect.

@NualaOC @peregrina2000
Just checking....would that get Nuala to Santa Eufaula on Saturday? Sadly,I diverted on the way to Friol and found it closed on Sunday.:mad:
Good point Tim, it's closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Incidentally, there's much debate about the distance from Lugo to Friol. The German guide shows (I think) 32kms, but this may include a diversion to Santa Eulalia. The @xmsg one seems to show 24kms, or did I read that wrong? We could do 24kms tomorrow, but definitely not 32kms.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#34
Thanks Laurie, another option to consider! It's fiesta time in Lugo this weekend (San Froilan) so there's a great atmosphere in the city. We will probably postpone our decision until tomorrow morning. It may be based on how much sleep we get tonight and how many kms we're capable of walking.

There's no urgency about anything on this Camino, it is just perfect.



Good point Tim, it's closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Incidentally, there's much debate about the distance from Lugo to Friol. The German guide shows (I think) 32kms, but this may include a diversion to Santa Eulalia. The @xmsg one seems to show 24kms, or did I read that wrong? We could do 24kms tomorrow, but definitely not 32kms.
@NualaOC I can't find my track on my phone but I can see two people on Wikiloc at 27k. I did divert to St Eulalia and I'm fairly sure I was under 30.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#35
We were very fickle pilgrims this morning. We got up later than usual and decided to keep things nice and simple. We set off to walk an easy 20kms to San Roman.

However, the doubts started to creep in when we saw a few green arrows. We dithered a bit and in keeping with the totally haphazard nature of our journey so far, we decided to toss a coin. So here we are in Friol, resting in Pension Beningo :).

We didn't meet any other pilgrims along the way, but our German friend arrived just before us. Some of the younger pilgrims might roll in later - they were also dithering this morning.

This is a very nice route. We got slightly lost a couple of times and walked along the road for a short while, before rejoining the path. It was all very manageable. The forest & river walk out of Lugo was particularly special. I'm sure it would be possible for Primitivo pilgrims to walk this way to Santa Eulalia, and rejoin the main trail after that. We noticed both green and yellow arrows close to Santa Eulalia. We didn't detour there - next time!

As others have said, loose dogs are an issue on this trail. I'm nervous around dogs and there were a couple of very scary moments.

Thanks again to everyone who shared their experiences and advice. Special thanks to @xmsg for all his work in maintaining and promoting this route.

Edit: there were 9 of us in the dining room of Pension Beningo tonight. Great pilgrim meal and it was fun to share stories about the trials and tribulations of getting here.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#36
@NualaOC
Woohoo! Well done! That's fantastic.
I have just reached Arizkun, (after Amaiur). Gerald Kellys says 27k. Tim Redmond says 32+K. I got very lost between Espelette and Ainhoa. Stunned by the scenery I guess. Without Google maps I'd still be there I think, although I could have retraced my steps and gone on main road I guess. But all just beautiful and I'd do it again so far. I'm frightened to look at my track. I was near to an albergue in St. Pée when I realised I was probably on the way to Irun.
It's good to be in Spain. Sooooo much cheaper.
Enjoy the night. I ate enough for two in Benigno in splendid isolation in the closed restaurant on a Sunday!
Do be sure to tell Madam in the bar you came from Friol just as you hit the Norte. And enjoy Sobrado. The monks' Chapel, bizarrely ultra-modern, is just very special.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#39
We're in Sobrado dos Monxes now, after a wonderful (and well-marked) walk from Friol. I'm so glad that we took this little diversion. To anyone thinking about it - just do it.

We fell asleep this afternoon and missed the opening hours at the monastery (oops, bad pilgrims again!). We'll go first thing in the morning.

Thanks again @notion900 for pulling all the information together in this thread. Everything you said in the first post is true!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#40
Delighted you got there. And that you enjoyed the experience. Those two days in May and the past four days on Baztan my joint favourites.
Remember to stop at Monte do Gozo to see the monument to my confrere. It's on the little wall surrounding the small church with kiosk for drinks outside.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#41
Delighted you got there. And that you enjoyed the experience. Those two days in May and the past four days on Baztan my joint favourites.
Remember to stop at Monte do Gozo to see the monument to my confrere. It's on the little wall surrounding the small church with kiosk for drinks outside.
Thanks Tim, we will of course stop at that memorial.

We're in Melide now after another off-piste walk over the hills from Sobrado. We realised that had we continued from Sobrado to Arzua, we'd arrive in Santiago a day too early. We weren't ready to do that and we didn't want to shorten our walking distances just yet.

We'll continue on the CF tomorrow - no more sudden changes of plan :) The guy who checked us into the albergue was completely baffled by our route over the past few days!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#42
N
We're in Melide now after another off-piste walk over the hills from Sobrado. We realised that had we continued from Sobrado to Arzua, we'd arrive in Santiago a day too early.
We'll continue on the CF tomorrow - no more sudden changes of plan :) The guy who checked us into the albergue was completely baffled by our route over the past few days!
Oh that is another one on my wish list - to stay in Melide one time and have main meal in Ezequiel. I'm always passing too early in the day. I would have done same as you just did in May but I was meeting friends in Arzua.
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
#43
I am excited to share the news that José from Friol @xmsg has been out this week refreshing the green arrows on the crossover route from Lugo on the Primitivo, to Sobrado dos Monxes on the Norte - affectionately known as El Camino Verde. Horay! He has also updated his blog with new downloadable directions (links below).

Firstly, let me sell this alternative to you:
  • Keeps you off the busyness of the Camino Frances as long as possible
  • Quiet, peaceful, very rural - no merchandise, no crowds, no hassle
  • Beautiful - old mills and bridges, peaceful river, nice views
  • Lovely old farm and forest tracks, not much asphalt
  • Feels quite adventurous (ie you have to make an effort, not just walk like a sheep in a flock)
  • Bookable, friendly and cheap pension halfway at Friol, both stages are very do-able distances
  • Friendly people, especially the lady in the Bar Suso in Mesón who treats crossover pilgrims like royalty
  • Fellow pilgrims will be surprised and excited to find out you went 'off-piste'
  • You get to stay with the monks of Sobrado who are supposed to live in silence, but chat for Spain
  • Lush municipal swimming pools at Friol and Sobrado in summer, and good town facilities
  • People who've done it say it was the highlight of their whole camino
If you want to do it you'll need either the German guide to the Primitivo by Raimund Joos and Michael Kaspar, and/or the downloads of José. Don't expect help from the pilgrim office or the albergue in Lugo, who think this is all a bit unofficial. Who cares?

I append below links to José's blog pages with downloads (please post your support as a comment on his blog as it helps him get official support) and also to other threads on this forum which discuss the Green Camino.

Detailed questions just ask our own José @xmsg
Also thanks to the people on this forum who gave me the impetus to try the route @timr @Castilian @petro

Just Do It!

View attachment 28475

José's blog pages with downloads in English, maps and Wikiloc routes
http://estradasecorredoiras.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Camiño de Santiago: Lugo-Friol
http://estradasecorredoiras.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Camiño de Santiago: Friol-Sobrado dos Monxes

Threads on the Forum
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/lugo-to-sobrado-2016.40889/
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/alternative-way-from-lugo-to-santiago.7380/
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/lugo-to-sobrado-not-missing-santa-eulalia.24326/
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/in-sobrado-dos-monxes.40795/

I am interested in this option, as I would like to avoid as much of CF as I can, but please clarify for me - where on the CF does this option bring you to?

I have understood it to be Arzua but I am confused, as Arzua is not far from Melide, only a 1/2 day walk?

So this alternative 'green' way would be an extra 2 days to avoid a half day of CF?

Ordinarily I would love the extra 2 days walk but only have 3 weeks holiday, including travelling to and from rural Australia.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#44
@katie@camino Yes you can join CF at either Arzua or Melide. I don't think the reason for doing it is to avoid the CF.
Two more positive reasons would be (1) to include a stop at Sobrado dos Monxes and its splendid monastery, which is on the Norte route and (2) to experience almost total solitude while walking a beautiful path (without in fact ever being as far from"civilisation" as it feels). And it is not an extra two days - you have to get from Lugo anyway! I think it is an extra one day.
I still regard it as a highlight of recent Camino's I have done.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#45
I am interested in this option, as I would like to avoid as much of CF as I can, but please clarify for me - where on the CF does this option bring you to?
I have understood it to be Arzua but I am confused, as Arzua is not far from Melide, only a 1/2 day walk?

So this alternative 'green' way would be an extra 2 days to avoid a half day of CF?
Ordinarily I would love the extra 2 days walk but only have 3 weeks holiday, including travelling to and from rural Australia.
Hi Katie, the Camino Verde joins the Norte in Sobrado dos Monxes, and the Frances in Arzua.

As @timr said, this definitely won't add 2 extra days to your Camino. Lugo to Arzua is about 59kms on the Primitivo, which is 2 or 3 walking days for most people. If you take the Camino Verde at Lugo, it's 2 days to Sobrado and then just 22kms to Arzua.

If you opt for the Camino Verde and don't feel ready to join the CF at Arzua, this thread might be of interest. It shows an alternative route from Boimorto (11kms after Sobrado) to Salceda. (This map for this variation is shown in the Editorial Buen Camino guide to the Norte & Primitivo).

I'd suggest keeping an open mind about all of this this until you reach Lugo. Buen Camino and happy planning!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(09/2013)
#46
I am interested in this option, as I would like to avoid as much of CF as I can, but please clarify for me - where on the CF does this option bring you to?

I have understood it to be Arzua but I am confused, as Arzua is not far from Melide, only a 1/2 day walk?

So this alternative 'green' way would be an extra 2 days to avoid a half day of CF?

Ordinarily I would love the extra 2 days walk but only have 3 weeks holiday, including travelling to and from rural Australia.
 
#47
Last year I had planned to walk from Lugo to Ponte Ferreira and then from Ponte Ferreira to Sobrado. This would mean staying on the "official" camino on the first day out of Lugo, and then veering north to join this route west of Friol. But I wound up in a big fun group and decided to go on into Santiago with them. This year I'm likely to be walking the Norte and if I have time..... I will walk into Sobrado on the Norte and from there maybe I'll get back to Lugo and try to figure this out. Since I know so many pilgrims love the albergues in Ferreira, it seems to me that we should be able to do it from there as well.

So, I'm starting to look at the routes and see that there are actually two routes from Lugo to Friol marked on this blog. They leave Lugo together, then in a place that may be Santa María Alta, one goes south (marked in red) and one goes north (marked in green.). I take it that the green one is the one forum members have walked?
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
#48
Hi Katie, the Camino Verde joins the Norte in Sobrado dos Monxes, and the Frances in Arzua.

As @timr said, this definitely won't add 2 extra days to your Camino. Lugo to Arzua is about 59kms on the Primitivo, which is 2 or 3 walking days for most people. If you take the Camino Verde at Lugo, it's 2 days to Sobrado and then just 22kms to Arzua.

If you opt for the Camino Verde and don't feel ready to join the CF at Arzua, this thread might be of interest. It shows an alternative route from Boimorto (11kms after Sobrado) to Salceda. (This map for this variation is shown in the Editorial Buen Camino guide to the Norte & Primitivo).

I'd suggest keeping an open mind about all of this this until you reach Lugo. Buen Camino and happy planning!
Thankyou NualaOC and time for clarifying some things. Good advice, I will see when I get there :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#49
So, I'm starting to look at the routes and see that there are actually two routes from Lugo to Friol marked on this blog. They leave Lugo together, then in a place that may be Santa María Alta, one goes south (marked in red) and one goes north (marked in green.). I take it that the green one is the one forum members have walked?
Good question, Laurie. Looking at the map again, I'm pretty sure that we followed (or in some cases tried to follow) the green route. We lost the arrows a couple of times and walked on the road for a little while.

We saw these rather confusing arrows somewhere after O Veral. I suspect that this is where the route splits (the photo was taken 13 minutes after the one I took in O Veral).
IMG_9472.JPG

When we chatted to other pilgrims in Friol, it seemed that everyone had followed a different route from Friol. Our German friend was frustrated with his guidebook directions and used maps.me to create his own route. He walked on mountain trails and had a slightly scary experience when a group of hunters with guns appeared in the mist!
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#50
Hi all, I had a very enjoyable lunch and walk with the marvellous José Manuel (who made the Green Way) on Saturday.

We chatted about the Way and he mentioned there was a recent court ruling which we should know about: the court ruled against Media Rural (the environment council of the Xunta Galicia) and for some owners of small farms, because Media Rural had installed a boardwalk, a bench and signposts on the riverside path coming out of Lugo, the one which José uses for the start of the Green Way. The court said that the infrastructure has to be removed along a 100m section.

He sent me a news article, there is no suggestion that the path is illegal, just the infrastructure, however, its removal could possibly impact on walking this route, as it's on a riverbank (the article says cyclists will be stopped). José has his brother on the case, who walked the riverside route this week, and says there is no change as yet, and the green arrows are still there. If anyone comes across any problems here please let me or José know by private message, so he can amend the directions if need be. He is @xmsg on here but does not log in often.

I asked José why the route was green, and he said that was the colour paint he had in his garage. It started off as dots, then he upgraded it.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#51
I'm just reading this thread rather belatedly after walking the Camino Verde in May this year. I wouldn't have wanted to rely solely on the green arrows to find my way, although very good for most of the way, there were a few junctions where I didn't see any indication of the route. Fortunately I had a route marked on the App 'Maps.me' which showed me where I was and where I needed to go.

My GPS recorded a distance between Lugo to Friol of 27.8 km. The route alongside the river was absolutely beautiful and seemed to be intact. There were indeed a lot of loose dogs of varying sizes and ferocity, but none too menacing. I missed the diversion to Santa Eulalia de Boveda, but as it was a Sunday that was quite fortunate.

I paid 15€ in Casa Benigno, they were closed for supper but I ate in a rather nice restaurant at the top of town near the church, a bit pricey at 13€ but very nice food. I walked with one other, and met with a couple of Dutch women who had also walked the route. Do take advantage of the lovely area down by the river with countless tables and benches. I didn't really discover this area until I left the next day which was a shame.

My GPS told me the distance from Friol to Sobrado was 27 km. The tracks running between the pasture land were extremely muddy for very long expanses and it was quite tiring on these stretches to find a way through without sinking shin-deep in a mixture of mud and cow manure. In the end I diverted onto the road for a short while to avoid these conditions.

It was a surprise when I came across the first mojon in O Mesón and realised that I was now on the Norte with other pilgrims in sight. The second half of this stage is largely on asphalt, but on quite pleasant roads. I had planned to walk on to Boimorte, but once I saw the monastery at Sobrado I didn't want to tear myself away. What a beautiful environment, with the freedom to wander around and the opportunity to hear the monks singing in the evening.

I was very pleased to walk this diversion. I was glad to know someone else was walking close by, although we didn't really walk together very much.

I wrote a full description of these two stages on my blog if anyone is interested.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#52
That's great to hear! I would love you to write the description up on your blog. I walked the route with José Manuel 2 weeks ago. We had the best time, the mud had all dried out, and we refreshed the arrows with new paint in some places. The board walk is all still there. no problems. We were invited into a farm for ham and beer, and I met his mother and brothers in Friol.

We have a few minor changes to the description which he will upload in the next few days.

Here he is:
IMG-20170820-WA0022.jpg
 
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Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#53
Very nice to put a face to the name, and many thanks to you @notion900 and to Jose Manuel for your efforts to keep this lovely route a viable option.

You asked that I put links the posts in my blog that relate to the Camino Verde which include lots of photos and elevation profiles...here they are
Lugo to Friol
Friol to Sobrado
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
#56
Got it, with my humble apologies for being too soon old and too late smart.

Again, still being old and slow, when in Friol, to what does "the only pension which is Casa Benigno (982375028), with comfortable rooms and great value / price" translate in terms of cost in Euros. Also, any ideal as to capacity, as I'm sure perhaps too many will want to avoid for a day or two more the unwashed hordes scurrying through the Camino Francis, given this alternative.

Same questions for "Nearby are the cottages Casa de Martiño (982163700) and A Regoela (982183746)."

thx
Pension in Friol mostly empty on sept.8.Wonderful place. Followed green arrows,other information was unnecessary. Walk out of luego by river was magical and best part of the primitivo. Went to Lavacola and avoided all of the Francis. Well marked all the way to Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
#57
I think the Benigno is EUR 15 for the cheapest room, that was just for me, so not sure if it would be more if the room was shared. It is quite big - I seem to remember she said 20 rooms. Don't know anything about the cottages.
They have single rooms,doubles,and rooms that hold as many as three. It seemed that the bathroom was in our double,do not know about the single. Very comfortable,and nearly empty early in September. One could easily follow the green arrows without any guidebook.
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Frances-Norte-Levante-Sanabres-Portugues-Gudbrands
Camino(s) past & future
St Olav’s way - Åbo - Stiklestad - Nidaros
(2018)
#58
I am excited to share the news that José from Friol @xmsg has been out this week refreshing the green arrows on the crossover route from Lugo on the Primitivo, to Sobrado dos Monxes on the Norte - affectionately known as El Camino Verde. Horay! He has also updated his blog with new downloadable directions (links below).

Firstly, let me sell this alternative to you:
  • Keeps you off the busyness of the Camino Frances as long as possible
  • Quiet, peaceful, very rural - no merchandise, no crowds, no hassle
  • Beautiful - old mills and bridges, peaceful river, nice views
  • Lovely old farm and forest tracks, not much asphalt
  • Feels quite adventurous (ie you have to make an effort, not just walk like a sheep in a flock)
  • Bookable, friendly and cheap pension halfway at Friol, both stages are very do-able distances
  • Friendly people, especially the lady in the Bar Suso in O Mesón who treats crossover pilgrims like royalty
  • Fellow pilgrims will be surprised and excited to find out you went 'off-piste'
  • You get to stay with the monks of Sobrado who are supposed to live in silence, but chat for Spain
  • Lush municipal swimming pools at Friol and Sobrado in summer, and good town facilities
  • People who've done it say it was the highlight of their whole camino
If you want to do it you'll need either the German guide to the Primitivo by Raimund Joos and Michael Kaspar, and/or the downloads of José. Don't expect help from the pilgrim office or the albergue in Lugo, who think this is all a bit unofficial. Who cares?

I append below links to José's blog pages with downloads (please post your support as a comment on his blog as it helps him get official support) and also to other threads on this forum which discuss the Green Camino.

Detailed questions just ask our own José @xmsg
Also thanks to the people on this forum who gave me the impetus to try the route @timr @Castilian @petro

Just Do It!

View attachment 28475

José's blog pages with downloads in English, maps and Wikiloc routes
http://estradasecorredoiras.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Camiño de Santiago: Lugo-Friol
http://estradasecorredoiras.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Camiño de Santiago: Friol-Sobrado dos Monxes

Threads on the Forum
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/lugo-to-sobrado-2016.40889/
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/alternative-way-from-lugo-to-santiago.7380/
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/lugo-to-sobrado-not-missing-santa-eulalia.24326/
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/in-sobrado-dos-monxes.40795/
Woooow .....more and more is coming up....adding this to my route in december!
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Frances-Norte-Levante-Sanabres-Portugues-Gudbrands
Camino(s) past & future
St Olav’s way - Åbo - Stiklestad - Nidaros
(2018)
#60
Weeeell ............ have you walked latish in the year yourselfe...did El Norte in december .....but look...!!.,...


....aaall fine exept one slippery day....did alt route next day cause rained even harder... it is what it is right...?....everything is some out of whack weather ways nowadays anyhow.....It will bee good whatever thrown my way...

Ultreia!
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#61
@PlutseligPilegrim, I have always walked in Spring, which can have its fair share of rain. But there was none on the two days I walked the crossover. But it was very misty weather. I met with swampy conditions for a considerable length of track. Wet due to the fact that the path is stirred up by cattle, probably several times a day and you can imagine what the swamp contained. If I was walking again, I would perhaps have some heavy duty carrier bags that I could tie on over my boots for a little protection and definitely take poles. To start it was a good challenge but after an hour or so of pitifully slow and hard-going progress I looked to gps for an alternative. And it wasn't just me being a wimp, I was walking independently of a camino buddy and I found out later that he had done the same thing.

Forewarned is forearmed!
And I am definitely glad I did it.

P1020541.JPG
 

RobinK*

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2012), incl. Muxia and Fisterra, Camino Portugues (2016), Camino Primitivo (2018)
#65
Just returned from the Primitivo. Wow, that was quite an experience.
We decided to follow the Camino Verde from Lugo to Sobrado dos Monxes. Although it was sometimes a bit muddy (not more than the first days on the Primitivo though), we think this was a very nice alternative. Beautiful and adventureous. For two days we did not see any other pilgrims. Actually, we hardly saw anybody at all :) The green arrows are OK to follow. In case we were in doubt, I checked the GPS tracks that José Manuel published on Wikiloc (https://nl.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/user.do?id=110809&from=0&to=10). Perfect! In Friol we even met his sister in the Ferreteria (hardware store).

Thanks José!

P1050244.JPG P1050246.JPG P1050248.JPG P1050258.JPG P1050261.JPG P1050270.JPG P1050278.JPG P1050291.JPG P1050317.JPG
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#66
I am Galician and I know the Friol area. If I had to walk there in the mist I surely would feel the Wolf presence near.
But I wouldn´t be frightened but expecting I could see one in the wild for the first time. :)
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#68
I have to give serious thought to this option. I love the quiet, the Invierno being probably my fave. I saw no other pilgs for 5.5 days while on it. And...I loved Sobrado dos Monxes when we did the del Norte. Hmmmmmm
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#69
Wow lovely photos @RobinK* Thanks for the update. Did you find any diversion to the boardwalk section just out of Lugo? I haven't met his sister, I have had the pleasure to meet his brothers and mother, they are such a lovely family. They own that magnificent farm store.

I also came on here to post some news about the route, apparently it is being rehabilitated into an official route by the Friol council using money from the Xunta de Galicia. [José Manual wrote to me about it last year but I was having such problems using this site as it was so slow on my computer that I could barely log on] The route will be called the Camino Réal. At the moment only the first half has funding but no doubt the second will follow on if the first goes ahead.

Here is a link to a news article about it: https://bit.ly/2MuE6S1 Open in Chrome to use Google translate. Also attached as jpg

José Manuel wrote to me at the time:
"Como ves, solo falta confirmar el apoyo económico del gobierno gallego de la Xunta. Confiemos en que sea una realidad. Yo ya he visto las fotos de los paneles y postes de señalización. Habían puesto flechas rojas y he pedido que las hagan verdes, veremos si me hacen caso. Se llamará «camiño real», porque era un antiguo camino real."

I assume this new routemarking will have to sort out the dispute over the boardwalk section too.

I am due to meet José in August so I will post any updates on here.

IMG-20180109-WA0000.jpg
 
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notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#70
Also in my previous posts I forgot to credit my fabulous friend María José who also came along and helped refresh the arrows for 2 days last year:

20170813_104912.jpg IMG-20170813-WA0000.jpg

The war on bramble:

20170813_103014.jpg
 

RobinK*

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2012), incl. Muxia and Fisterra, Camino Portugues (2016), Camino Primitivo (2018)
#71
There's no diversion to the boardwalk, just follow the green arrows. But be aware: The slanted sides of the boardwalk itself are very slippery. Because of the overhanging trees, the sun is not able to dry the planks. My wife slipped and hit the ground. Bruised her hip quite fiercely.
 
D

Deleted member 83944

Guest
#72
Hi all, walked the Green Way in August again! It was fabulous. Regarding the alternative on the first day via Boveda, I walked it and have refreshed the arrows. The lamp post pictured above is where the two options divide, and the green arrows now point to both options, with a B for Boveda. I worked hard and used two whole cans of paint! :p I also refreshed the translated directions for it on José Manuel's blog. On the second day, I walked with JM, his son, daughter and daughter's boyfriend to Sobrado. He has now made two slightly different marked options where the route leaves the horse enclosure in case people come to the wrong gate. I can assure everyone that the routes are now all clearly marked with up to date directions in JM's blog. Also there is no problem with the boardwalks, in fact they have been repaired. JM thinks that the publicity may have been referring to another area near the Mera river, after all. I had the best two days, and the monks at Sobrado let me stay for free, for 'working on the camino'. ;)

Link to resource
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#73
Fantastico. Fantastico. Fantastico. Well done. You have been very faithful to that path.That's very encouraging news. I wish you could bring the grumpy man from the tourist office in Lugo along with you one day!
I'm reading this along the path between Rome and Brindisi. Perfect autumn weather here.... I've walked from Canterbury but I took a break after I reached Rome. Started again on Wednesday.
 
D

Deleted member 83944

Guest
#74
Glad to hear you are doing well. I read your blog with interest. I am going to ask Ivar to set up a section in the Other Caminos area on here, and move the green way threads into it.

José Manuel was on good form, he is retiring at Christmas. His mother cooked me dinner. The whole family are so lovely.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#75
Hi all, walked the Green Way in August again! It was fabulous. Regarding the alternative on the first day via Boveda, I walked it and have refreshed the arrows. The lamp post pictured above is where the two options divide, and the green arrows now point to both options, with a B for Boveda. I worked hard and used two whole cans of paint! :p I also refreshed the translated directions for it on José Manuel's blog. On the second day, I walked with JM, his son, daughter and daughter's boyfriend to Sobrado. He has now made two slightly different marked options where the route leaves the horse enclosure in case people come to the wrong gate. I can assure everyone that the routes are now all clearly marked with up to date directions in JM's blog. Also there is no problem with the boardwalks, in fact they have been repaired. JM thinks that the publicity may have been referring to another area near the Mera river, after all. I had the best two days, and the monks at Sobrado let me stay for free, for 'working on the camino'. ;)

Link to resource
Ah good to see you back with another nom de plume.;)
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#76
Hi all, walked the Green Way in August again! It was fabulous. Regarding the alternative on the first day via Boveda, I walked it and have refreshed the arrows. The lamp post pictured above is where the two options divide, and the green arrows now point to both options, with a B for Boveda. I worked hard and used two whole cans of paint! :p I also refreshed the translated directions for it on José Manuel's blog. On the second day, I walked with JM, his son, daughter and daughter's boyfriend to Sobrado. He has now made two slightly different marked options where the route leaves the horse enclosure in case people come to the wrong gate. I can assure everyone that the routes are now all clearly marked with up to date directions in JM's blog. Also there is no problem with the boardwalks, in fact they have been repaired. JM thinks that the publicity may have been referring to another area near the Mera river, after all. I had the best two days, and the monks at Sobrado let me stay for free, for 'working on the camino'. ;)

Link to resource
Thank you thank you thank you! Starting to get really excited about walking soon!! And so looking forward to this little bit of the Primitive. Very much looking forward to Sobrado. It was one of the most memorable evenings on all my Caminos. Gracias for your efforts!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#77
Can I recommend everyone, (even 'without an ounce of religion' as they say in Ireland) to go to Vespers or Compline with the monks. The huge monastic church was only abandoned this century and they have a lovely small very modern chapel deep inside the enclosure. I rather think it doesn't have natural light but makes wonderful and imaginative use of lighting. Special.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#78
Can I recommend everyone, (even 'without an ounce of religion' as they say in Ireland) to go to Vespers or Compline with the monks. The huge monastic church was only abandoned this century and they have a lovely small very modern chapel deep inside the enclosure. I rather think it doesn't have natural light but makes wonderful and imaginative use of lighting. Special.
Ditto!! It's rather like having the most beautiful lullaby sung to you by the monks. The most peaceful way to be sent off to bed ever!
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#79
And wandering around the vast empty space of the deserted church part of the monastery was so interesting. I loved staying there, even though I also am not a religious person - but I felt deeply moved when attending vespers - it is quite the most charming and atmospheric place to stay.
 
D

Deleted member 83944

Guest
#80
I love Sobrado. This August there was also the benefit of the trout and pork scratching festival. And the free swimming pool to burn off the calories. You just can't go wrong there!
 



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