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Leaving Ourense, which way to go?

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
In another post, Johnnie Walker indicated that there are some options for the Vdlp after Ourense. The CSJ guide is kind of confusing. It lists two pairs of Route A and B. (p. 53 - 57)

Here's what the different routes are:

Route A (via Quintela) and Route B (via Soutelo, Tamallancos, Viduedo, etc.)

These two routes join up again in Casas Novas, 19 km from Ourense. Any preferences?

Then from Casas Novas, there is the Route A (RH route) via Oseira and the Route B (LH route) direct to Castro Dozon. (What do RH and LH stand for?)

Even if I weren't going to sleep at the monastery, would that route be preferable for scenery and the like?

Thanks, Laurie
 
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Tom Vickers

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances1993/2002) Fonseca 06 Primitivo 16. Muxia/Fisterra 16. VDLP 17. Primitivo/Fisterra 18.
Hi Laurie
There are indeed 2 routes out of Ourense and both involve steep climbs. The routes separate soon after crossing the River Miño by the old bridge. There is an ornate camino marker by Carballo (a local sculptor) to mark the split. The left hand (LH) option runs close to the river through Quintela then turns right to climb a very steep straight road. After this hill the camino winds through country villages to Cea.

The right hand route (described in the book Ruta del Camina Fonseca) goes a mile or so through the suburbs then turns left up a steep flagstoned path (the old Camino Real which would have been the original route to Santiago). I found a bar open half way up this hill for morning coffee. It was on a road junction and near a fuente. After the hill the camino winds through different villages to the LH route and stays quite close to the N525 which is convenient for bars, banks, Farmacias etc. The routes join just before Cea.

There is a very good albergue in Cea and shops, banks etc. for your supplies. After Cea you can climb up to the monastery at Oseira or take a gentler route via Pinor. Both routes meet at Castro Dozon. In 2006 I was very tired when I reached Cea and did not want to gamble on finding accommodation at Oseira. I walked a few km on the lower route to stay in the private albergue in Cotelas. (There was a pamphlet with a map in the Albergue of Cea.) The private albergue has only 2 rooms, one with a double bed and the other with twin beds. They advertise special rates for pilgrims and the food in the bar was good.

You can read my journal on my website under the heading "Fonseca".

Cheers
Tom
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Tom,

Thanks for the link to your website, it's very helpful and I liked the pictures. I enjoy ascents much more than descents and have heard (maybe from you) that there is some good elevation gain in Galicia on the Vdlp. That will be a nice change after the long flat stretches earlier.

Thanks again, Laurie
 

gyro

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Caminos: Frances, Ingles, Portugues, de Norte
Via(s): de la Plata, Mozarabe
Tom Vickers said:
Hi Laurie
There are indeed 2 routes out of Ourense and both involve steep climbs. The routes separate soon after crossing the River Miño by the old bridge. There is an ornate camino marker by Carballo (a local sculptor) to mark the split. The left hand (LH) option runs close to the river through Quintela then turns right to climb a very steep straight road. After this hill the camino winds through country villages to Cea.

Cheers
Tom

I took the LH route: not easy to spot the right hand turn. the ascent is a REAL slog, the only reward being a bar at the summit. After that, the walk through the country is marvellous - several villages and several bars - until you get to Cea.

I would not advise staying at Oseira -- the monks are very kind, but the huge cold barn/chapel provided for accommodation is really creepy. And the bell sounds all night. Frankly I was glad to get up and get out the next morning

All good wishes
Gyro
 

Ribeirasacra

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
the highway
I think this has not been noted elsewhere, but the new route for the AVE (high speed train) route is presently being constructed from Ourense to Santiago. It will cut through the so called left hand route somewhere near the outskirts of the city.
You can see the early stages of the works here. (just at the north of the map)
http://maps.google.es/maps?f=q&sour...122&spn=0.010513,0.021307&t=h&z=16&iwloc=addr
However the construction is much further advanced and obviously heads in the direction of the railway station.

Ian
 
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Ribeirasacra

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
the highway
gyro said:
I would not advise staying at Oseira -- the monks are very kind, but the huge cold barn/chapel provided for accommodation is really creepy. And the bell sounds all night. Frankly I was glad to get up and get out the next morning

All good wishes
Gyro


I have never stayed at Oseira, so I cannot comment on the bells etc.
But I would agree with the creepy comment …. I have seen the portrait of Jesus just above the beds.
But if you do sleep there you must go on one of the guided tours the building has so much atmosphere and exquisite architectural details. IMHO it is much outshines Samos.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Based on these comments, it sounds like the best option is to take both RH routes -- the RH route into Casas Novas avoids AVE construction, and the RH route into Castro Dozon takes you by the monastery, for a visit (I think I'll avoid sleeping there). I'll make a note in the CSJ guide and see what things look like when I arrive.

Only a few more days till I'm off, but it'll be many many weeks before I hit Ourense!

Laurie
 

gyro

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Caminos: Frances, Ingles, Portugues, de Norte
Via(s): de la Plata, Mozarabe
Ribeirasacra said:
I have never stayed at Oseira, so I cannot comment on the bells etc.
But I would agree with the creepy comment …. I have seen the portrait of Jesus just above the beds.
But if you do sleep there you must go on one of the guided tours the building has so much atmosphere and exquisite architectural details. IMHO it is much outshines Samos.

And here I agree entirely. I really enjoyed my tour around the monastery - fascinating details as previously described.
Gyro
 

travelingdina

New Member
Laurie (or anyone else...), have you passed through this part yet?

I'm in the process of deciding myself... the LH to Cea seems like it'd be nicer, if it weren't for the AVE construction; does the RH go right by the highway?

Thanks! :)

-dina-
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
the right-hand route isn´t so highway at all. I liked it very well when I did it, although the first few km. were some of the steepest camino-ing EVER. Both hikes, honestly, are similar in tone and flavor and topography. flip a coin.

reb.
 

miguel_gp

Veteran Member
Dina,

I walked the LH route from Ourense (via Quintela) in May 2007. The ony evidence of the AVE construction was in the area marked on the map in Ribeirasacra's post where a viaduct was being built above the camino route. This was just before the long steep climb. My impression was that the AVE route and the waymarked route diverged from that point and I don't remember any further works on that particular stage.

After the hill, the route is as Gyro states, through lovely country villages and scenery.

Hopefully someone who has walked the LH route more recently can confirm that the effect from the AVE is minimal.

Past Cea the route was affected by construction of the Autovia but I understand that this work has now been completed.

Regards
Mig
 

det

New Member
Hi,

I am going to do this part from ourense mid of july and will tell you about the AVE construction. Does anyone heard something new about the Castro Dozon situation? Sounds like no one likes to have pilgrims there...Does anyone know the actual status of the albergue/Hostal there?

det
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Dina,

Unfortunately, I never made it to Ourense. I developed bad heel pain and stopped in Caceres. I actually surprised myself that I had the good sense to stop. But boy was it a terribly tough decision.

But I will be back -- I'm now hoping to walk from Sevilla starting early next May, hey that's only 10 months away! So I will look forward to the sage advice of those of you who walk from Ourense between now and then.

Laurie
 

Jim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2006- Camino Portuguese
2008- Camino Frances
2009- Sanabres extension of the VDLP
2010- Camino Frances
2011- Camino Potuguese
2014- Camino Frances
2017- Camino Finisterre
det said:
Hi,

I am going to do this part from ourense mid of july and will tell you about the AVE construction. Does anyone heard something new about the Castro Dozon situation? Sounds like no one likes to have pilgrims there...Does anyone know the actual status of the albergue/Hostal there?

det

I am also planning on stopping in Castro-Dozon-- leaving next week. I saw some references that Castro-Dozon has an albergue. Other sources say no and can't seem to get dates for any comments. Does anyone know for sure what is accurate about lodging these days? Would be willing to go to a private albergue that's not too far off the path. Turgalicia.com doesn't list any lodging for this village, unfortunately. I'll be there in 1st week of November, so there shouldn't be a deluge of pilgrims vying for space at that time.
 
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JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Jim - I'd be careful especially at this time of the year. I was there 2 years ago and whilst there was mention in the guide that there might be an albergue there was no sign of it.

However a new hostal has opened just a short distance from the route. Best to enquire of hospitaleras etc when you reach the stages previous to there as to what is open and available. You can always get a taxi in an emergency.

Perhaps others will have more up to date information.
 
D

Deleted member 397

Guest
Castro Dozon has had a temporary albergue for at least 2 years.Each year I've stayed there (usually july/august) it's been absolutely freezing
 

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JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Omar - you made me remember that I walked in 2006 - 3 years ago. How time flies. Jim - I'm sure hospitaleras before there will confirm that it is still open or not. Let's hope its warmer in November than Omar found it in July! :)
 
D

Deleted member 397

Guest
JohnnieWalker...yes I was there in 2006 too but stayed (probably like you) in the place located behind the new (temporary) albergue. In 2008 I first stayed there in july and those that didn't get a blanket were awake most of the night with the cold-even with their sleeping bags. This year, in early june,I walked with a Danish friend and the weather was so bad we took a bus past Castro Dozon. We could hardly see out of the bus windows because of the torrential rain. We later met one of the people who stayed in Castro Dozon and he said the whole building was shaking in the wind and everybody froze. It always bring a smile to my face when novices on the forum ask whether you really need a sleeping bag,well, no....if you don't mind shivering all night in the cold.
 

Jim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2006- Camino Portuguese
2008- Camino Frances
2009- Sanabres extension of the VDLP
2010- Camino Frances
2011- Camino Potuguese
2014- Camino Frances
2017- Camino Finisterre
Thank you, John! And thank you, Omar for the photo and the warning! I will have warm items with me and will try it. If too uncomfortable, I'll opt for a taxi to shuttle me elsewhere and back as John suggested. Seems that private B&B's of some sort wouldn't be too many kilometers from the trail. Always good to know about the options ahead of time, so that I won't be too surprised!
 
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isabelle304

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPP-Santiago) (Oct-Nov 08)
Santiago to Finisterre (Nov 08)
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabres (Sevilla-Santiago via Ourense) (Oct-Nov 09)
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JohnnieWalker said:
Omar - you made me remember that I walked in 2006 - 3 years ago. How time flies. Jim - I'm sure hospitaleras before there will confirm that it is still open or not. Let's hope its warmer in November than Omar found it in July! :)

I thought I´d comment on this one as I stayed at the Castro Dozon albergue just last week! The night I was there was a cold, windy and wet one. However the heating in the dormitory was perfectly adequate - there was one of those loud blow heater things fitted to the wall and it warmed the room up really quickly. The hospitalera advised me to leave it on during the night - I did so until about 5am when I got up to go to the loo and then switched it off as it was rather noisy :D Apart from that, no the building did not shake from the wind and I had a really peaceful comfy night.

The only problem with that albergue when staying there in bad weather is that you do have to step outside to go to the loo or the kitchen - I did not enjoy my short run (just a few steps) to the loo at 5am in the cold windy darkness :(

Bottom line is I´d be quite happy to stay at that albergue again - the two hospitaleros (Alberto and his mother Mari-Luz) were absolutely lovely and really welcoming. Although "temporary", the albergue also has a nice kitchen/dining room.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Hi Isabelle, greetings from Zamora-in-the-freezing-all-day-fog. I am behind you as you walk and am greatful to hear that this albergue has excellent heating. Thanks for your post. Regards, Lovingkindness.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Finally, 14 months after posting this question, I can finally speak from personal experience. I took the left hand route, notwithstanding the dire warnings of the hospitalero that we would get stuck in terrible mud. It was a short sweet steep climb, in contrast to the milder but longer ascent on the right hand route (at least that's what I was told). And despite the days of rain earlier, there were not terrible mud patches. I would highly recommend the left hand route, but sounds like the RH route is quite nice, too.

Laurie
 

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