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Going in and out of Ourense

2020 Camino Guides

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Since there is a fair number of people who are walking the Vdlp this year, I thought I would offer my two cents on Ourense -- these topics have been discussed before but I think bear repeating.

First, going in to Ourense. There is a lengthy discussion here camino-mozarabe-and-via-de-la-plata/topic5483.html, but if you just want to know how to avoid the industrial slog into Ourense, here's what to do.

As you are getting close to the city, after having gone through the little town of Seixalbo with its old stone houses, you will see the Peugeot building. Big signs. At that point, the Camino arrow goes to the right, and then the Burgos-like entrance to town begins. If you turn left, you will find yourself immediately on a path on the side of a river. It's lovely. Just stay on it. You will have to cross a busy street when you get to the Ford Motor company building, but you will easily see the river path after you cross the street. You can stay on it till the very end, which is when the river merges into another river. At that point, turn right, and you will walk into As Burgas, and you are then very close to the center. You may need directions, but if you ask for the Cathedral you'll get very close to the albergue.

When you leave Ourense, you have a choice as well. Again, there is a long thread on the topic. camino-mozarabe-and-via-de-la-plata/topic5714.html
I think I am right to say that the LH route is more rural and further from the highway. It was very pretty the day I walked it. I had planned to take the RH route because of the hospitalero's dire warnings, but I missed the turn-off. :oops:
I also think the ascent on the LH may be steeper, so you can choose between longer and more gradual vs. shorter and steeper, but in both cases you wind up at the same place.
Buen camino, Laurie
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Thank you Laurie! Perfect timing - I was just going over my etatpas and making adjustments, and so will include your advice on Ourense and follow this way.

Thanks so much for this!

lynne
 

Debinq

Active Member
Yep, indeed Laurie, the LH route out of Ourense is the shorter but its steepness prolly needs to be considered. Altho' I didn't take the RH so I haven't really got something to compare it against!

And wasn't the albergue in Ourense great? Beaut old bldg I mean - and lovely gdns behind ( I know 'cos I happened in there to retrieve my walking stick which had fallen out of the albergue's window)

happy trails

Peter
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
What? There are gardens in the back of the albergue in Ourense? Never had a clue, and it would have been very nice to take advantage, because the front area was full of workers, with the restoration going on at the monastery next door (which I've heard is totally bogged down in political battles and going nowhere fast).

Yes it is a lovely building, very comfortable and lots of gathering space.

My day in Ourense was the only day I wished I had brought a bathing suit -- those public thermal baths are just incredible. A bunch of us took the little "tourist train" out there and it looked very inviting!

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Debinq

Active Member
ummmm - now that I think of it Laurie, the gdns may have been an extension of the gdn. behind the monastery next door - I had to pass through it to get to the space underneath the (back) window from which my walking pole had fallen - I was using it as a drying stick b t w to get a t-shirt to dry; the thick walls sheltered the shirt from the deluge that was happening the day I got to Ourense (18 Oct 2006) and continued for sev days after - Next day the walk up the steep LH route out of Ourense to Cea was just as miserably WET and SLOSHY I recall! The stretch from Cea to Oseira was abt 22km (so my notes say) - I recall that part of it was along the 'carretera' which I followed instead of the track to Oseira because I thought the bitumen would be easier going than the SLOSH I had trudged through days before; the track would have been sev km shorter I think!

Oseira was interesting - the monks make chocolate (but not too tasty imho)

happy trails

Peter
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hola

I followed Laurie's directions and found this alternative way into Ourense much more pleasant than the other route.

The alternative is waymarked and presents no difficulties.

Here are some photographs but the directions are simple:

Turn Left at the Peugeot Showroom ignoring the yellow arrows going straight ahead. Immediately you will see waymarks which very shortly take you Right along the RH river bank. After a little yellow arrows take you accross a road - follow them to the LH bank of the river and follow this quiet waymarked path for 3 kms. At the end the arrows will take you Right and up onto the main road with Camino signs for the Cathedral only a few minutes away.
 

Attachments

rjnazareno

New Member
Garden behind the Albergue in Ourense - I stayed there in Apr 2010 and had a bunk bed overlooking the garden. (I thought that was a cemetery?) Highly recommended for future peregrinos passing through Ourense.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
My husband and I were hospitaleros at Ourense albergue a while back. There is a big and fascinating cemetery attached to the rear, and gardens behind the adjoining monastery buildings. Ourense is a great place to be a pilgrim -- it's got those thermal baths, lots of transport links, bars, shopping, restaurants, and IMHO the very best farmer's market ever.
It is a tough place to be hospi in, however. The building acoustics are very strange (hard to hear one another), the kitchen is practically unusable, the hospi quarters are damp and noisy, and many of the 100-km pilgrims start their journey there -- they don't yet know the pilgrim etiquette, and they want to stay out all night partying.

As for the routes out of town, I walked the RH route. It may not be AS steep as the left, but it goes up and up for HOURS. It is really a tough day's hike whichever way you go.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
My husband and I were hospitaleros at Ourense albergue a while back. There is a big and fascinating cemetery attached to the rear, and gardens behind the adjoining monastery buildings. Ourense is a great place to be a pilgrim -- it's got those thermal baths, lots of transport links, bars, shopping, restaurants, and IMHO the very best farmer's market ever.

It is a tough place to be hospi in, however. The building acoustics are very strange (hard to hear one another), the kitchen is practically unusable, the hospi quarters are damp and noisy, and many of the 100-km pilgrims start their journey there -- they don't yet know the pilgrim etiquette, and they want to stay out all night partying.

As for the routes out of town, I walked the RH route. It may not be AS steep as the left, but it goes up and up for HOURS. It is really a tough day's hike whichever way you go.
Hi, Reb,
I didn't know you had been a hospitalera in Ourense. When was that? Can you confirm that the Claustro San Francisco is REALLY open -- I've been in that albergue three times and never got to see it. My googling today took me to an article that says it opened last July, two weeks after I was last there, drats!

http://turismourense.com/Blog/contenido/430/De_nuevo_abierto_el_Claustro_de_San_Francisco

I walked the river walk into Ourense last year and it was lovely, green and totally shaded. I just don't understand why they don't re-route the camino over that way. And I don't think there's any split for LH and RH route going out of Ourense now, at least I didn't see anything. The arrows take you on what I remember as the LH route. It has some beautiful spots. But I've never found or walked the RH route!

Buen camino, Laurie
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
I walked the RH route (I think!). The guy in the tourist office gave me similar info to what's already been said - that it's a bit longer but not as steep. He said the split was after you cross the river and walk a couple of blocks into the other half of the city. It's clearly marked apparently, but not quite clearly enough for me to remember noticing it. It's a fairly non-descript part of town anyway, I suppose!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
I've done both the left and the right hand routes out. The right splits off near the railway station. On the whole I think I prefer the left hand one. When you (eventually) get to the outskirts of Ourense, along the railway line, it is then VERY steep for about 2km on a fairly narrow tarmac road, which has some traffic, but I think it does get you more quickly onto proper camino than the right hand one.

And, like Laurie, on the three times I've been in Ourense, the claustro has always been closed. The cathedral's polychromatic pórtico del paraíso is a pretty good substitute, however. Next time I will get to the baths.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I spent three days one evening recently (April) in Ourense, waiting for a train connection, so I walked up to the cathedral and onward to the pilg hostel, for old time's sake. The claustro was closed then, too, but I was there outside posted hours.

It showed every sign of being regularly opened, though. So one day, one of us might actually get lucky and see the thing in its glory! (I was inside there in 2006, but it was still in pieces.)
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Thought I'd "bump" this up a bit for the benefit of anybody on the Sanabrés at the moment (@Mikelan) or soon. The approach to Ourense is pretty horrible, but Laurie's tip of following the river route from Seixalbo is a great way of making the last few much more pleasant.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Thanks for posting and bumping. Much appreciated.
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
I walked the right hand way from orense to Cea this morning. Lovely route with very little road work. Also took the route from Cea to oseira which was again very pleasant. However even though there has been no rain for 4 or5 days some of the path was still under water.
 

sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
Walked along the river into Ourense. Much nicer than the other way.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Walked along the river into Ourense. Much nicer than the other way.
Agree, just have to take those stairs up to the right at the end of the river path, turn left and left again and you are on the main drag into the Ourense. But still have to cross the old city center to get to muni albergue.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
I just crossed into Galicia this morning. When I get to Ourense I'll follow the river route.
 

Lindy Lou

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018 Portuguese, VDLP September 2019
Since there are a fair number of people who are walking the Vdlp this year, I thought I would offer my two cents on Ourense -- these topics have been discussed before but I think bear repeating.

First, going in to Ourense. There is a lengthy discussion here camino-mozarabe-and-via-de-la-plata/topic5483.html, but if you just want to know how to avoid the industrial slog into Ourense, here's what to do.

As you are getting close to the city, after having gone through the little town of Seixalbo with its old stone houses, you will see the Peugeot building. Big signs. At that point, the Camino arrow goes to the right, and then the Burgos-like entrance to town begins. If you turn left, you will find yourself immediately on a path on the side of a river. It's lovely. Just stay on it. You will have to cross a busy street when you get to the Ford Motor company building, but you will easily see the river path after you cross the street. You can stay on it till the very end, which is when the river merges into another river. At that point, turn right, and you will walk into As Burgas, and you are then very close to the center. You may need directions, but if you ask for the Cathedral you'll get very close to the albergue.

When you leave Ourense, you have a choice as well. Again, there is a long thread on the topic. camino-mozarabe-and-via-de-la-plata/topic5714.html
I think I am right to say that the LH route is more rural and further from the highway. It was very pretty the day I walked it. I had planned to take the RH route because of the hospitalero's dire warnings, but I missed the turn-off. :oops:
I also think the ascent on the LH may be steeper, so you can choose between longer and more gradual vs. shorter and steeper, but in both cases you wind up at the same place.
Buen camino, Laurie
Thank you for posting. We’re heading that way in October.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Overall, I felt that Ourense was much more pleasant to enter and leave than some other large cities. That's a great tip about the river walk after Seixalbo.

As far as I know, there's no way to avoid the industrial estate before Seixalbo (photo below). Fortunately, the stone houses and pretty streets of Seixalbo are a relief after the factories and chimneys.
IMG_3798.JPG

In Ourense, I visited the so-called Japanese baths. They were a let down - Even the hottest bath was too cool. I wish I had just visited the free public baths.

To leave Ourense, I took the RH (Right Hand) route and wished that it had a few more arrows. I managed to lose my way very soon after the Roman bridge and the big stone that indicates the split in the route. An elderly gentleman kindly directed me up some steps to climb up from Av. de Marin back onto the N525, which is the Avenida de Santiago. I should have guessed that I needed to stick to the Av. de Santiago. This part of the walk, past big box style furniture stores etc., isn't pretty and needs better way marking.

After 1km you turn right off the N525 after the the CEPSA Petrol Station. The Camino sign here is large but easy to miss because it's drowned out by CEPSA, KIA, and other signage. (Photo below. Can you see the Camino sign?)

Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 12.08.40.png

From here, you join the "Camino Real," and the surroundings become residential and more pleasant. There are nice things to look at and when you get to the top, a beautiful view over the city.

Camino Real is the title of a Tennessee Williams play about confronting old age. The climb up the Camino Real to leave Ourense may leave you feeling the same way. But the locals have put signs and statues in front of their houses to keep your spirits up (photo below)

IMG_3899.JPG

IMG_3900.JPG

IMG_3901.JPG

IMG_3902.JPG
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
What does RH stands for? Is this the right or the left option after the river? I think I remember that petrol station.

RH = right-hand???
 

gschmidl

sator arepo tenet opera rotas
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo (11/2018), Camino Sanabres (4/2019)
This will come in handy very soon, thank you!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Another thanks to @peregrina2000 for posting this alternative. After Allaríz I'd spent a happy time up at Auguas Santas looking at the newly excavated Roman remains (well, "newly" since I first passed that way in 2010). But once you're off the hill, Ourense's industrial estate seems to stretch forever. So I took her advice to ignore the arrows when you see the huge Peugeot shop just after Seixalbo. There is a sign to the Paseo Fluvial de Barbaña, and you follow the river all the way to the Miño, off tarmac, very pretty on a glorious sunny autumn day like today, the music of the river not of traffic, and only a few ducks and dog walkers for company.

Highly recommended.

_20191118_155143.JPG
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I veered off the Paseo Fluvial well before the Mino so I wouldn't have to walk back to the center and albergue. This is screenshot of my track:

There are metal stairs to the right from the river. You ascend to Rua do Progreso which is main street through Ourense and in no time your're on Praca Maior.
 

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