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I just don't get it!

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
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#1
To my longtime Invierno friends. We have been saying for years that forum members should rush to the Invierno before it "takes off." We have been totally wrong.

Then last year the Xunta announced it as an "officially recognized " camino, so we repeated our advice to hurry up and go now before the mobs arrive.

Wrong again!

Invierno pilgrims August 2016 --68
Invierno pilgrims August 2017 -- 39

I give up --no more predictions for me. :eek:
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
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#4
Any ideas as to why it's called the Invierno? Seriously.... is it a good route for the wintertime?
I think the explanation is that it was an alternative to the climb to O'Cebreiro, which was likely to be covered with snow in the winter. Though there are a few ups and downs on the Invierno, I don't think snow is usually a problem.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
Finisterre ('11, '16),
Madrid ('14),
Invierno ('14),
Levante ('15+'??),
Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
Muxia ('15),
Bayona ('16),
Salvador ('16),
Ingles ('16)...
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#5
To my longtime Invierno friends. We have been saying for years that forum members should rush to the Invierno before it "takes off." We have been totally wrong.

Then last year the Xunta announced it as an "officially recognized " camino, so we repeated our advice to hurry up and go now before the mobs arrive.

Wrong again!

Invierno pilgrims August 2016 --68
Invierno pilgrims August 2017 -- 39

I give up --no more predictions for me. :eek:
I don't know where you got the numbers but if they are Cathedral official numbers (Invierno pilgrims that claimed Compostela) I'm sure that's not the full number. Invierno and other less walked Caminos are mostly second or third or... Camino for veteran walkers after they already did CF, Portugues, Norte, Primitivo etc. and usually they don't claim second or third Compostela. I know this might be only the part of the reason why the numbers are lower and the 2017 isn't over yet.

Was August 2017 hotter than in 2016?

Also if someone is walking Camino de Madrid (or any other Camino that runs into Frances before Ponferrada) first and then turn onto Invierno the PO wouldn't recorded Invierno as starting point. At least that was the case when I claimed vicare pro Compostela in 2014.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
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#7
I don't know where you got the numbers but if they are Cathedral official numbers (Invierno pilgrims that claimed Compostela) I'm sure that's not the full number. Invierno and other less walked Caminos are mostly second or third or... Camino for veteran walkers after they already did CF, Portugues, Norte, Primitivo etc. and usually they don't claim second or third Compostela. I know this might be only the part of the reason why the numbers are lower and the 2017 isn't over yet.

Was August 2017 hotter than in 2016?

Also if someone is walking Camino de Madrid (or any other Camino that runs into Frances before Ponferrada) first and then turn onto Invierno the PO wouldn't recorded Invierno as starting point. At least that was the case when I claimed vicare pro Compostela in 2014.
I'm not much of a numbers person and I don't disagree with anything you say. But those imperfections in the pilgrim office tallies are constant over the years, so I think you get a sense of trends in growth with those numbers.

So even if the numbers are much lower than actual pilgrims walking, the fact that there were almost half as many reported in 2017 as 2016 seems to mean that fewer walked the Invierno this August than last August. And that just doesn't make sense to me given its awesomeness (if that's a word).
 

peregrina2000

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#9
Well, isn't that rather good? :confused:
hmmm, I agree that it's nice not to have the hoards, but with 39 pilgrims recorded in the peak month of August, we're not likely to see much pilgrim infrastructure being built. It seems a shame that so much beauty is kept for just the chosen few, doesn't it?
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#10
I think it's because so many people who walk the Invierno began their caminos in St. Jean, Roncesvalles, Burgos, Leon, or Astorga, or some other place farther back the Camino Frances. The busy clerk at the Compostela Factory desk looks at the first stamp and voila! Another Frances hiker.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances -800k- Winter 2016
"Slow Camino" Book 2017
Portuguese-480km Tomar - Winter 2017
#11
Only 20% of walkers get the Compostela! So the Official Statistics are only a "piece of the pie". There were likely five time as many walkers as those numbers suggest.

It was only later, after doing some research for this book "Slow Camino-My Adventure on the Camino de Santiago" by Terence Callery, that I learned that the number of pilgrims on the road compared to the number who receive a compostela is estimate by the Sociology Department of the Cathedral to be about 5 to 1. They were able to compile data from albergue registrations and from the tourist information offices on the Camino. As was the case for me on my first Camino, many pilgrims simple choose not to get a compostela. Like me, they felt their photos and their pilgrim certificate are enough of a “souvenir”. Once again, I only learned about this later, but the Pilgrim Reception Office actually requires not one, but two pilgrim stamps per day over the last 100 km. I have read reports of people who were denied a compostela because they got only one stamp per day. On both my French Camino and my Portuguese Camino, I was getting just one stamp or ‘selo’ each day from the albergue or hotel where I stayed the night. Apparently these requirements are enforced with some latitude, as there are many people who are issued compostelas with just one stamp per day on their Pilgrim Certificates. Another factor mentioned by the Cathedral’s Sociology’s Department is that many pilgrims, particularly the Spanish pilgrims who have just two weeks vacation, will complete the Camino in stages. So there are pilgrims on the road who will only get a compostela next year or the year after when they complete their final stage. Pilgrims who are on the Camino for sporting reasons such as a four day cycling trip, might be on a part of the Camino with the best bike trails, avoiding the congested cities and never even getting close to Santiago, with no intention of obtaining a compostela. Then there are all those folks who start and do not finish. Their legs give out on them, they get injured, they get called home on business or a family emergency or they simply get bored of all the walking or, in the summer, they get tired of too many other pilgrims competing for space and resources.
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
#12
Cool
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#13
hmmm, I agree that it's nice not to have the hoards, but with 39 pilgrims recorded in the peak month of August, we're not likely to see much pilgrim infrastructure being built. It seems a shame that so much beauty is kept for just the chosen few, doesn't it?
It's a tricky one. I have not walked the Invierno yet but it is in my mind as one for the future. Especially as an alternative to passing through Sarria which made my heart sink like a stone last year. If the infrastructure increases and draws in ever more pilgrims then will the Invierno loses its distinctive character and become in effect just a branch line of the CF? One of the criticisms often made when some of us with longer memories express concern and regret at the vast increase in numbers walking is that we are wishing to deny others something we ourselves have enjoyed. But I think there can come a breaking point when numbers grow so large and the infrastructure so dominant and pervasive that newcomers will no longer be able to find the things which previous generations of pilgrims have cherished. I am glad that there are still routes which are quieter and limited infrastructure and a need for greater preparation and the odd long day seem like a very small price to pay for that.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
Finisterre ('11, '16),
Madrid ('14),
Invierno ('14),
Levante ('15+'??),
Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
Muxia ('15),
Bayona ('16),
Salvador ('16),
Ingles ('16)...
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#14
...If the infrastructure increases and draws in ever more pilgrims then will the Invierno loses its distinctive character and become in effect just a branch line of the CF? ...
It's interesting that Invierno doesn't have bad or insufficient infrastructure at all. Bars/restaurants and even albergues (or not really expensive pensions) are enough to walk quite short stages. For example in A Rua you have two albergues! I also don't remember a single stage that doesn't have at least one fuente... and so on.
I think it's the lack of knowledge about the route, sometimes a little misleading info about infrastructure, ability to speak Spanish and supposedly toughness of the route that it's not really popular. I haven't walked Primitivo but I think Invierno is easier just looking at the profile charts. One more thing to consider might be the solitariness itself. More or less people/pilgrims/walkers also want some camaraderie at least in the evening and you can't count on that on Invierno if you don't speak some Spanish.

Anyway Invierno is such a gem I would recommend to everyone!
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#17
Could we delete this thread.....at least until i've walked it (egocentric, I admit, but all the so-called quiet Caminos I've walked so far have been busy!!)
The problem is we all have very different ideas of what "quiet" means :) On my first Camino Frances I probably met fewer than 30 pilgrims over nearly 800km and I LOVED it! Last year I walked for 17 days in Sweden and Norway and met 3 others doing the same. And this spring over 10 days on the Sanabres I met a grand total of 2 other pilgrims. Those numbers are ideal for me so you can imagine the culture shock of walking the Camino Frances again last year in September and October :eek::eek::eek:
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
Finisterre ('11, '16),
Madrid ('14),
Invierno ('14),
Levante ('15+'??),
Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
Muxia ('15),
Bayona ('16),
Salvador ('16),
Ingles ('16)...
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#18
Well, what can I say - JUST DO IT :D
In 2014 I have met exactly 3 pilgrims (one couple and a man) and that was in Puente de Domingo Florez on the same day. And then all the way to A Laxe where Invierno connects with Sanabres none at all. But a lot of nice and very welcoming locals!
 
Camino(s) past & future
From Somport Aug/Sep 2018
#19
If everything goes well, I will go Camino Aragones - Camino Frances (partly) - Camino de Invierno in August / September 2018 as my first camino.
I planned the Camino Frances from SJPDP first... but I think it is better for me to go the less crowded caminos... I want to be glad to meet other pilgrims and not think of something like "Do I need to book in advance?"

Of course I have to improve my Spanish very much... especially as I could not speak one word of Spanish 3 months ago.
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#20
There are likely many reasons happening simultaneously, as everyone has already articulated. One other thing is reputation. I heard warnings in Ponferrada about the Invierno, and many others have mentioned this in their accounts of beginning the walk; people there seem to have the impression that the route is in some way super difficult or even (eek) dangerous. With that kind of word of mouth publicity, there aren't likely to be any but the more determined pilgrims venturing forth, and those who already intend to walk that way ahead of time.

Well, there are many of us out here in the 'someday' or 'next time' camp. Me too. So this may be the calm before the storm.o_O;)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
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Donating Member
#21
. I heard warnings in Ponferrada about the Invierno,
So Vira, who was warning you? I remember that the hospitaleros in Ponferrada used to discourage people, but I thought that had stopped.

Not sure what the source of the "dangerous" idea could be. It's pretty crazy IMO.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
Finisterre ('11, '16),
Madrid ('14),
Invierno ('14),
Levante ('15+'??),
Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
Muxia ('15),
Bayona ('16),
Salvador ('16),
Ingles ('16)...
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#22
Exactly! Even a bit too much tarmac walking for my refined taste (Camino de Madrid comes to mind ;)) although on almost completely abandoned roads. The only possibly dangerous part would be descending to Rio Mino at Belesar but the equally "dangerous" is descend after Alto del Perdon for example.

I'm sure it's the solitude people are afraid of and put off such Caminos. Being with yourself the whole day long for days could be very demanding task for some. That's one of the many reasons I'm walking them ;)
 
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VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#23
So Vira, who was warning you?
A hospitalera at San Nicolás de Flue.

The only possibly dangerous part would be descending to Rio Mino at Belesar but the equally "dangerous" is descend after Alto del Perdon for example.
Not to mention coming down into Molinaseca. Maybe it's the cars people are thinking of? I don't know, really. It was not first-hand information I was getting but merely reputation; the person doing the warning had never walked the Invierno.

I'm sure it's the solitude people are afraid of and put off such Caminos. Being with yourself the whole day long could be very demanding task. That's one of the many reasons I'm walking them ;)
:D
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
Finisterre ('11, '16),
Madrid ('14),
Invierno ('14),
Levante ('15+'??),
Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
Muxia ('15),
Bayona ('16),
Salvador ('16),
Ingles ('16)...
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#24
...Not to mention coming down into Molinaseca. Maybe it's the cars people are thinking of? I don't know, really. It was not first-hand information I was getting but merely reputation; the person doing the warning had never walked the Invierno.
Yes, you're right. It can be compared with descend from Manjarin to El Acebo and to Molinaseca too but much shorter, so you get the picture.
Maybe 20 cars passed me by on the whole Invierno on tarmac stretches. That's nothing.
And the last sentence says it all... :)
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#25
The problem is we all have very different ideas of what "quiet" means :) On my first Camino Frances I probably met fewer than 30 pilgrims over nearly 800km and I LOVED it! Last year I walked for 17 days in Sweden and Norway and met 3 others doing the same. And this spring over 10 days on the Sanabres I met a grand total of 2 other pilgrims. Those numbers are ideal for me so you can imagine the culture shock of walking the Camino Frances again last year in September and October :eek::eek::eek:
I hope this doesn't sound snarky because I really am just curious. I am puzzled by the seeming incongruity between not wanting to meet other pilgrims, and joining this forum.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#26
I hope this doesn't sound snarky because I really am just curious. I am puzzled by the seeming incongruity between not wanting to meet other pilgrims, and joining this forum.
No offence taken :) I do usually enjoy my random meetings with other pilgrims (well, most of them:rolleyes:) when I am walking but I am by nature a bit of a recluse and I am always uncomfortable in big crowds. The idea of actively seeking out a "camino family" or choosing a busy route to be sure of always having company would never occur to me. For me walking and pilgrimage are at heart a private, individual and personal activity. Most of my friends are people who share my interest in walking, art, religion, church history and other subjects which tie in well with the caminos. We talk about them a great deal. I choose to see this forum as an extension of my circle of friends and family - with the added advantage of an "ignore" button where necessary ;)
 
#28
Local accommodation, bars and restaurant have not said anything to me about any increase/downfall of Caminoers (yes I just made that one up);).
When out and about not seen one Pilgrim, even in the towns. So I suppose in reality the about one a day is about right. Conspicuous by there absence.
Not a lot about this route in local press or TV. Only about some vandalism.
 
P

pilgr

Guest
#29
Well, I can proudly say I am 1 of the 39 accounted for Pilgrims on the Invierno this year. I "made" the person at the pilgrim's office write "invierno" down on my compostello.

It doesn't surprise me there were only 39 or some version of that magnitude. I saw NO ONE on the route nor did I hear of anyone coming through.

And yes, a hospitelero in Monasecca was warning me not to walk the Invierno because of me the 'infrastructure' issue on the Invierno.

Plus, in all honesty, I found the first part of the Invierno a real challenge with the up/down mountainous terrain. I would say it was in the top 5- 10% of the terrain challenges I encountered on the caminos I have done. @KinkyOne can attest to my wondering out loud with him about the prospect of quitting my walk after hitting the first couple days of mountains of the Invierno. And this was after just finishing crossing Spain on the Levante!
 

sabbott

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPP to Ponferrada) 2016
Camino Invierno 2016
#31
I walked the Invierno last year, and I have to say I'm not surprised by the statistics you cite, Laurie. For one thing, I agree with others that many who walk the Invierno probably don't get a Compostela for it. I didn't, for one.

I also agree with others that folks may be put off by the isolation and difficulty of some of the stages of the Invierno. I walked from SJPP, and left the Frances to take up the Invierno in Ponferrada, as I'd planned to do (with a printout of Laurie's extremely helpful pdf guide in hand.) Leaving the "river" of the Camino Frances in Ponferrada, with its stream of hikers, albergues and cafes, did give me a lonely and uneasy feeling--especially on that long, solitary hike up the mountain trail on the way out of the city. That loneliness diminished as I fell into the different, quieter rhythm of the Invierno, and was finally replaced by euphoria. It's that beautiful....

I walked alone much of the three weeks I was on the Invierno, and encountered maybe ten other pilgrims in that time, one of whom was a woman I walked with for a few days, and a Dutch couple I walked with for the long stretch into Lalin (they said the Invierno was the most challenging Camino they'd done in terms of uphills, and they'd walked most of the routes in Spain.)

All the other walkers I encountered were men. I can see how women could be nervous with the isolation of parts of the Invierno--for example, there's a whole day spent walking along wind turbines, and another long (glorious) day through mountains on a remote path after Las Medulas. But objectively, it's as safe as the Camino Frances, and probably more so since pilgrims aren't going to be targeted. The challenge is not so much the external conditions as it is managing emotions, especially managing the fear that we women have been programmed to feel when alone in an isolated place.

If you want the camaraderie of albergues and pilgrim cafes, the Invierno would be disappointing. But as others here have said, there are many inexpensive hotels and guest houses along the way, and plenty of places to eat, most serving better food than on the Frances. Everyone has a garden in rural Galicia, and that means much better salads and french fries than you get in some other regions!

I also agree with other posters that the local folks are very friendly on the Invierno. For example, I was in a village grocery store getting a few things, and thinking to myself that my backpack wasn't buying me any smiles from the proprietor or customers. As I was walked outside, the lady at the cash register came running out with a huge hunk of cake to give me, "la peregrina." Ok, maybe my eyes did tear up a little...Farther up the road in Barxa do Lor, Jose and Pacita insisted I stay another night and wouldn't accept payment for my dinner with the family, or for my second night of lodging. Asun in A Rua took me on a long driving tour around the area when i spent an extra day with her. So yes, in my experience this route is full of lovely people who are happy to see a pilgrim--though many you may encounter have never heard of the Invierno, and will tell you that you've strayed far off the Camino!

I agree it's a good idea to learn a bit of Spanish before you walk this, even a little goes a long way to help make some new friends here.

In sum--I loved the Invierno, and would walk it again in a heartbeat. And I can understand why it hasn't become a popular Camino. (But I think that's ok with me....)
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#32
A whole day walking along wind turbines? Did they re-route the Way?
I wonder which Camino Invierno I was walking, then. I can remember a couple of hours along turbines...
I have not walked the whole Primitivo, but from what I have done I can say it IS tougher, IMHO, than the Invierno.

I love the Invierno, just the way it is. (or was?)
 

sabbott

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPP to Ponferrada) 2016
Camino Invierno 2016
#33
A whole day walking along wind turbines? Did they re-route the Way?
I wonder which Camino Invierno I was walking, then. I can remember a couple of hours along turbines...
I have not walked the whole Primitivo, but from what I have done I can say it IS tougher, IMHO, than the Invierno.

I love the Invierno, just the way it is. (or was?)
That was Alto de Faro, and you're right, it wasn't all day along turbines, it just felt like it. There's a long climb up to the ridge with the turbines, and up to the "Stations of the Cross". I can't comment personally on the other Caminos as I haven't walked them. I actually didn't find the hills that tough on the Invierno as I'd been hiking for a month by then. And the scenery is so lovely that it takes your mind off the ascents.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#34
Plus, in all honesty, I found the first part of the Invierno a real challenge with the up/down mountainous terrain. I would say it was in the top 5- 10% of the terrain challenges I encountered on the caminos I have done.
I spent almost a week in Galicia on both Camino and highway. Those rocky hills were the most difficult I have encountered anywhere, including about four hundred kilometers on Via de la Plata and the Frances in Navarra, La Rioja, and Burgos. (Details here.) I suspect there is worse in the Pyrenees. Other than that, anyone who's done that and knows of other parts that are worse?
 

Texasguy

And so...we keep on walking ..
Camino(s) past & future
French completed in 2013
Portuguese Conpleted March 2015
Ingles Completed November 2015
French 2016
#35
I'm not much of a numbers person and I don't disagree with anything you say. But those imperfections in the pilgrim office tallies are constant over the years, so I think you get a sense of trends in growth with those numbers.

So even if the numbers are much lower than actual pilgrims walking, the fact that there were almost half as many reported in 2017 as 2016 seems to mean that fewer walked the Invierno this August than last August. And that just doesn't make sense to me given its awesomeness (if that's a word).
I don't think the numbers are correct.
Once again, God willing, we will be on in the Camino this year.
For the last 6 yrs I have walked in December/January, along with other winter peregrinos.
This year will be back in Irún and walk the Del Norte for 4-5 weeks.
I always always say, nothing more beautiful than walking in the winter. The rain and the emptiness of the Camino, always fills my spirit for the next year.
Also, for the last 3 yrs, we always run into the same group in Santiago and we go to Fisterre walking together.

If you haven't tried it, try the Camino in the winter.

To all of you out there...

Buen Camino!!

Texas guy!
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
#36
I walked the Sureste and then a bit of the Frances and finished on the Invierno - the people on in the Pilgrim’s office had no idea what to write down either for a name or the total distance - so who knows what the ‘real’ number is but it is certainly not a lot. I didn’t meet another walker on the Invierno.
 

Texasguy

And so...we keep on walking ..
Camino(s) past & future
French completed in 2013
Portuguese Conpleted March 2015
Ingles Completed November 2015
French 2016
#37
I hope this doesn't sound snarky because I really am just curious. I am puzzled by the seeming incongruity between not wanting to meet other pilgrims, and joining this forum.
My first Camino Frances in 2012, was AWESOME, very few people and just, if i might say ther right people. I have done 4 CFs from SJDP. I walked with some friends last year from O'cebreiro to Santiago. I did this in October, the amount of people with loud playing stereos, the albergues denying some people entrance after 12:00AM, the trails now paved in some areas, and the large group of REI people traveling with the lunch boxes and the cars delivering water at the end of a trail, wasn't really what I wanted.
I will not walk the CF again, until the "popularity" passes. At near $3,450 USD for 6 days (sleeping in Hostals and 2 nights in albeques), not the Camino I felt in love with. This is just another tourist destination

I am migrating to the Inverno, del Norte, Primitivo in which you can still find the beauty of the rain hitting your face, the hunting dogs carrying the birds, and the people having the time to join you in a cafe con leche o bocadillo. That is the Camino I love. Just remember, "This too shall pass..."

To all the "seasoned" peregrinos... and the new ones...

Buen Camino

Texasguy
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
Finisterre ('11, '16),
Madrid ('14),
Invierno ('14),
Levante ('15+'??),
Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
Muxia ('15),
Bayona ('16),
Salvador ('16),
Ingles ('16)...
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#38
...At near $3,450 USD for 6 days (sleeping in Hostals and 2 nights in albeques), not the Camino I felt in love with. This is just another tourist destination...
AUCH!!! That would be a three months Camino for me. With all the beer and ciggies included :)
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#39
I will not walk the CF again, until the "popularity" passes. At near $3,450 USD for 6 days (sleeping in Hostals and 2 nights in albeques), not the Camino I felt in love with. This is just another tourist destination.
$575 per day? I don't see how that is possible anywhere in the world. I've been traveling for three years, on an average of $85 per day, which includes all my air, train, & bus fares, an occasional car rental and several expensive luxuries. My most expensive day on the Camino was about fifty dollars.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Many more to come in my future God willing !
#40
My first Camino Frances in 2012, was AWESOME, very few people and just, if i might say ther right people. I have done 4 CFs from SJDP. I walked with some friends last year from O'cebreiro to Santiago. I did this in October, the amount of people with loud playing stereos, the albergues denying some people entrance after 12:00AM, the trails now paved in some areas, and the large group of REI people traveling with the lunch boxes and the cars delivering water at the end of a trail, wasn't really what I wanted.
I will not walk the CF again, until the "popularity" passes. At near $3,450 USD for 6 days (sleeping in Hostals and 2 nights in albeques), not the Camino I felt in love with. This is just another tourist destination

I am migrating to the Inverno, del Norte, Primitivo in which you can still find the beauty of the rain hitting your face, the hunting dogs carrying the birds, and the people having the time to join you in a cafe con leche o bocadillo. That is the Camino I love. Just remember, "This too shall pass..."

To all the "seasoned" peregrinos... and the new ones...

Buen Camino

Texasguy
@Texasguy - You said a mouthful with your statement. I couldn't agree with you more. I also echo your thoughts on the fact that much has changed through the years on the CF. Some don't mind a lot of people and a lot of noise, but I, for one, still enjoy the quiet, solitude and nature a Camino has to offer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
VDLP 2017
Camino de Levante (2018)
#41
hmmm, I agree that it's nice not to have the hoards, but with 39 pilgrims recorded in the peak month of August, we're not likely to see much pilgrim infrastructure being built. It seems a shame that so much beauty is kept for just the chosen few, doesn't it?
I agree that infrastructure is more likely with numbers. However it is not for the "chosen few" so much as the "few who choose" !
 

Theatregal

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Camino(s) past & future
2012 thru 2017:
Frances
Primitivo
Ingles
Portuguese Coastal
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Finisterre
#42
At near $3,450 USD for 6 days (sleeping in Hostals and 2 nights in albeques), not the Camino I felt in love with. This is just another tourist destination
Texasguy
$3,450 for 6 days? Curious about this number. The most I ever spent for hostal accommodation for one night on the Frances was 45 euro (sharing with one other).
 

gollygolly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
#43
Total mystery to me as to why the 'official' numbers for the Invierno are so low for such a beautiful and interesting Camino, though the low number of peligrinos could be one of the very reasons for why it is so enjoyable for the few who do walk it. Personally, I like to meet a few others and share some of the experience though quite determinedly want to avoid situations where there are hordes of others. Or does this make something of an anti-social on a Camino ?
 

Charrito

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Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
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Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
#44
I was seriously thinking about the Camino del Salvador, but the Invierno has won me over again. I'll be setting off from Ponferrada this Sunday, but will only be able to get as far as Monforte de Lemos before heading back to sunny Salamanca.

I hope to see NOBODY!!!!!!!!! We're a selfish lot, us Invierno lovers! It's ours, so stay away! Only joking, I think!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
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#45
I was seriously thinking about the Camino del Salvador, but the Invierno has won me over again. I'll be setting off from Ponferrada this Sunday, but will only be able to get as far as Monforte de Lemos before heading back to sunny Salamanca.

I hope to see NOBODY!!!!!!!!! We're a selfish lot, us Invierno lovers! It's ours, so stay away! Only joking, I think!
NOOOOOOOO!! Charrito if you do that section you will neither be able to walk to the mirador near Torre Vilariño nor will you be able to check out and report back on the new Lukas in Chantada. Where are your priorities, pal?
 

Charrito

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Francés
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#46
NOOOOOOOO!! Charrito if you do that section you will neither be able to walk to the mirador near Torre Vilariño nor will you be able to check out and report back on the new Lukas in Chantada. Where are your priorities, pal?
I'll be back up there later, to continue from Monforte! I WILL check out the mirador, and I defintely WILL sample the new Lucus (spelt this way!).
 

Charrito

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#47
I'll be back up there later, to continue from Monforte! I WILL check out the mirador, and I defintely WILL sample the new Lucus (spelt this way!).
However, read this review of the new place (there are better ones). Sorry, I don't have time at the moment to translate it for others, but you will understand it:

Nada que ver con el antiguo Mesón Lucus. De 1° Espaguetti con un pescado desconocido y algo de surimi, no me hizo gracia. 2° Carne richada. La carne tira a cruda y la cebolla también, antiguamente la carne richada venía bien pasada y la cebolla caramelizada. Te la servían en una fuente con mucha más cantidad ahora te ponen 8 trocitos de carne enanos y una pocas patatas fritas. La ensalada trae 2 trozos de tomate super delgados y la lechuga rizada. Antes venía aliñada, ahora la aliñas tu. El tomate sin sabor. El vino es similar al que ponían antiguamente, pasable. El café correcto. La alegría. Camarera muy sosa. Precio más caro que en la anterior dirección.
 
Last edited:

peregrina2000

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#48
I'll be back up there later, to continue from Monforte! I WILL check out the mirador, and I defintely WILL sample the new Lucus (spelt this way!).
Oops, I knew that Lucus wasn't "Lucas" but I changed the wrong letter. :) I should have checked before blurting it out. I will take a stab at translating the very disappointing review:

This new place has nothing in common with the old Lucus. First course, spaghetti with an unknown fish and some surimi (some fish product whose name I can't find in English) -- was no good. Second course, some kind of meat, undercooked, undercooked onions. In the old Lucus, this dish came with the meat well done and the onions carmelized. They used to serve it to you on a tray with much greater quantities, now they give you 8 little dwarf sized pieces of meat and a few French fries. The salad has two super thin slices of tomato, they used to dress it, now you pour on the oil and vinegar. Tomatoes without taste. The wine is similar to the wine they used to serve, it's drinkable. Coffee properly prepared -- happiness! Bored waitress. Higher price than the prior management.

Thanks Charrito.
 

Charrito

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#49
Oops, I knew that Lucus wasn't "Lucas" but I changed the wrong letter. :) I should have checked before blurting it out. I will take a stab at translating the very disappointing review:

This new place has nothing in common with the old Lucus. First course, spaghetti with an unknown fish and some surimi (some fish product whose name I can't find in English) -- was no good. Second course, some kind of meat, undercooked, undercooked onions. In the old Lucus, this dish came with the meat well done and the onions carmelized. They used to serve it to you on a tray with much greater quantities, now they give you 8 little dwarf sized pieces of meat and a few French fries. The salad has two super thin slices of tomato, they used to dress it, now you pour on the oil and vinegar. Tomatoes without taste. The wine is similar to the wine they used to serve, it's drinkable. Coffee properly prepared -- happiness! Bored waitress. Higher price than the prior management.

Thanks Charrito.
Surimi is a type of crab stick.
 

Charrito

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Camino(s) past & future
Francés
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Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
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#52
Thanks Charrito, now I know how to say it in English but I don´t know what it is. :)
descarga.jpg
There's a photo for you! Not my favourite 'cup of tea', but you'll find them in quite a few cheaper bars and restaurants. My in-laws use them!
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#53

t2andreo

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Voluntario: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
#54
Just as an FYI, when they collect information at the Pilgrim Office as part of the Compostela process, the place you started is recorded into the computers. You are also asked the Camino route you followed.

If you cobbled together a custom Camino routing using bits of established Camino routes this degree of granularity would NOT be captured by the staff or recorded in the computer database. So, for example, using an example I read above, if you started on the Camino Aragones at Somport or earlier in France, then joined the Camino Frances at Puenta la Reina, walked the Frances until Ponferrada, then ended up walking into Santiago from the Invierno, what Camino route did you walk?

My logical mind tells me that they should record the route you were on when you arrived at Santiago. That would be the Invierno. However, I believe they record the MAIN route you claimed that you followed. In this regard, and using this particular example, they are likely to record your camino as being on the Camino Frances, despite almost half your time being on two other ancillary routes.

This raises an interesting question and one to add to my "things I gotta do" when I am next working at the office next summer. I need to ask definitively, how they handle compound Camino segments like this. My recommendation would be to log the route on which you walked your final 100 Km. This would set the Camino route at which you crossed that "100 Km threshold" as the Camino of Record.

Yes, I know this shortchanges some of the other routes that feed into the routes ending in Santiago, but that is just the way it is, I guess... it's kind of difficult to say you walked the Camino Madrid into Santiago, when it morphs into the Frances at Sahagun; or the Levante, when it flows into the Camino de la Plata for a bit, then branches off to the Sanabres route to finish at Santiago. The same paradigm holds for several other ancillary routes.

I might be incorrect in total, or partially. But I still need to clarify this next summer.

I hope this helps.
 
#55
Oops, I knew that Lucus wasn't "Lucas" but I changed the wrong letter. :) I should have checked before blurting it out. I will take a stab at translating the very disappointing review:

This new place has nothing in common with the old Lucus. First course, spaghetti with an unknown fish and some surimi (some fish product whose name I can't find in English) -- was no good. Second course, some kind of meat, undercooked, undercooked onions. In the old Lucus, this dish came with the meat well done and the onions carmelized. They used to serve it to you on a tray with much greater quantities, now they give you 8 little dwarf sized pieces of meat and a few French fries. The salad has two super thin slices of tomato, they used to dress it, now you pour on the oil and vinegar. Tomatoes without taste. The wine is similar to the wine they used to serve, it's drinkable. Coffee properly prepared -- happiness! Bored waitress. Higher price than the prior management.

Thanks Charrito.
Where was that review?
We have still not managed to get to the restaurant, however, guests have said it was good value and good quality. Nothing like that.
Even on TA it was only the ultimate review that did not like the place. Maybe that one was written on a busy day by the way they describe having to thread their way past other diners.
Reviews
 

Charrito

Active Member
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#56
Where was that review?
We have still not managed to get to the restaurant, however, guests have said it was good value and good quality. Nothing like that.
Even on TA it was only the ultimate review that did not like the place. Maybe that one was written on a busy day by the way they describe having to thread their way past other diners.
Reviews
I take Tryp Advisor Reviews with a pich of salt! There is NO WAY that they can ruin this fantastic place!
 

peregrina2000

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#57
Where was that review?
We have still not managed to get to the restaurant, however, guests have said it was good value and good quality. Nothing like that.
Even on TA it was only the ultimate review that did not like the place. Maybe that one was written on a busy day by the way they describe having to thread their way past other diners.
Reviews
Charrito was the one who put up the review I am just the bad translator. So I can't tell you where it is from.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#58
[

I'm not much of a numbers person and I don't disagree with anything you say. But those imperfections in the pilgrim office tallies are constant over the years, so I think you get a sense of trends in growth with those numbers.
If you follow the Invierno’s FB page I think you would get the feeling there are many more people than that walking it. Regular photos of people stopping at Bar Mar, many others posting daily pictures of their walk, thanking hospies, what have you. And that’s not counting all the organised romerias and other events.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
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#59
[


If you follow the Invierno’s FB page I think you would get the feeling there are many more people than that walking it. Regular photos of people stopping at Bar Mar, many others posting daily pictures of their walk, thanking hospies, what have you. And that’s not counting all the organised romerias and other events.
Anemone, I see there are several, which one do you like? I was also sad to see a post on one of them from last week saying that the albergue in A Rua is again closed because of illness. This happened earlier this season I believe. This makes me worry for Asun's mother Manuela, who is now well into her 90s.

If anyone has updated information about the albergue and what is going on, let us know.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
Finisterre ('11, '16),
Madrid ('14),
Invierno ('14),
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Muxia ('15),
Bayona ('16),
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Ingles ('16)...
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#60
Anemone, I see there are several, which one do you like? I was also sad to see a post on one of them from last week saying that the albergue in A Rua is again closed because of illness. This happened earlier this season I believe. This makes me worry for Asun's mother Manuela, who is now well into her 90s.

If anyone has updated information about the albergue and what is going on, let us know.
That is indeed worrying if Manuela has health problems at her age. I wish her all the best.

Apart from at least three pensiones in A Rua there is also a municipal albergue in polideportivo. Don't know for sure but maybe it's open in the summer months only.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#61
Anemone, I see there are several, which one do you like?

If anyone has updated information about the albergue and what is going on, let us know.
Hi Laurie,

I follow the one calle Camino de Santiago de Invierno (in caps).it has some 10k members.

I don’t know what Asun’s albergue is called but the Albergue de Soaina will reopen next Saturday. Fingers crossed for Asun and her mom.
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
#62
Could we delete this thread.....at least until i've walked it (egocentric, I admit, but all the so-called quiet Caminos I've walked so far have been busy!!)
Kiwi-family, I'm with you too. Haha. Have to admit though, some of the quiet caminos we've walked have been exactly that... quiet... with not one other pilgrim in sight.
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
#63
Interesting thread. Thanks everyone.
For us, we've driven and travelled by train and explored bits of the Invierno and have had the intention for years to walk it ... some day soon.... but have continued to postpone because mostly we worry our 70 yr old legs/achilles may not cope with the 'ups and downs' challenges of the mountains and Rio Miño valley. That, I think, is the main reason...

However, plans are now being made and I AM going to walk the Invierno in June 18 with another Forum friend, Sue. Yay!
It would be lovely to meet up with other pilgrims, esp of an evening, and I hope we do, but if it becomes just another crowded off shoot of the crowded Frances then it won't be for me. No matter how beautiful it is. Interesting about the stats Laurie and I guess from all the input above, there are probably significantly more then the official numbers actually doing it.

I fear we are in a Catch 22 scenario re all the caminos. We want others to experience the wonderfulness, we encourage others, but then some of the routes become so busy at times, they become too busy and uncomfortable, with tour groups and 'bed races'. I am still constantly amazed by the number of people and even pilgrims who think the Frances is the only route. Sometimes Im selfishly?? glad the lesser known routes are still a 'secret'.

That said, I treasure the wonderful friends I've made on camino, esp the VdlP which seems to have the 'right' number of people for us. I know the Invierno will be harder in many ways, but I also know it will be beautiful and look forward to the challenges (I think).
 

Charrito

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#64
Interesting thread. Thanks everyone.
For us, we've driven and travelled by train and explored bits of the Invierno and have had the intention for years to walk it ... some day soon.... but have continued to postpone because mostly we worry our 70 yr old legs/achilles may not cope with the 'ups and downs' challenges of the mountains and Rio Miño valley. That, I think, is the main reason...

However, plans are now being made and I AM going to walk the Invierno in June 18 with another Forum friend, Sue. Yay!
It would be lovely to meet up with other pilgrims, esp of an evening, and I hope we do, but if it becomes just another crowded off shoot of the crowded Frances then it won't be for me. No matter how beautiful it is. Interesting about the stats Laurie and I guess from all the input above, there are probably significantly more then the official numbers actually doing it.

I fear we are in a Catch 22 scenario re all the caminos. We want others to experience the wonderfulness, we encourage others, but then some of the routes become so busy at times, they become too busy and uncomfortable, with tour groups and 'bed races'. I am still constantly amazed by the number of people and even pilgrims who think the Frances is the only route. Sometimes Im selfishly?? glad the lesser known routes are still a 'secret'.

That said, I treasure the wonderful friends I've made on camino, esp the VdlP which seems to have the 'right' number of people for us. I know the Invierno will be harder in many ways, but I also know it will be beautiful and look forward to the challenges (I think).
Don't worry, Carole: the Invierno will eventually become more popular, but the lack of infrastucture at the moment means that the hordes will carry on walking the overcrowded Camino Francés from Ponferrada.

Those of us who are 'fans' of the Invierno are, as you rightly say, in a Catch 22 situation: we would love the route to take off, but we selfishly want to keep it quiet!

Last year, I saw nobody until I was walking up the hill from Quiroga to A Pobra do Brollón and came across an Italian guy who was a bit lost. This year, the only pilgrim I encountered was a guy with a dog in San Clodio, but I never saw him again. What you DO get, however, are groups who walk a stage or two on summer weekends, but don't do the whole camino. When I stopped in Sobradelo on the Monday, the lovely girl in Cafetería Pontenova told me that the day before (Sunday) they had had a group of 20, who had walked from Las Médulas. They stopped for lunch and carried on to O Barco, where they would be picked up by bus and transported back to Ponferrada.

You will absolutely love the Invierno, I guarantee!
 

peregrina2000

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#65
Hi, Carole, this is great news! Looks like we will not overlap again this year, but I just wanted to second Charrito's promise that you are going to love the Invierno. I know you haven't been active much on the forum lately, so just in case you haven't seen it, there is a fabulous forum effort in the form of a little guide to the Invierno, revised every year as a labor of love. This is the 2017 version, but we should have a 2018 version done early in the year.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/resources/camino-de-invierno-2017-edition.535/

(Of course this is just my devious way of sucking you into the group and hoping you will provide feedback for the following year. ;)).
Buen camino, Laurie
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
#66
Thanks Charitto, I'm so looking forward to walking the Invierno.. finally .
Laurie, yep, I'm back!.... back on the Forum! Just need Ivar to restart emailing the weekly Camino Topics and I'll be back in the swing of things.
Maybe we will catch up... big plans to stay 6-9 months in Spain from March, 2018. Fingers crossed I'll PM you. Thanks for link to the guide.

Love to take notes and give feedback next year. Gotta get working on my 'mountain' legs...
Buen camino, Carole.
 
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