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Live - Via de la Plata Live Report from VdlP Starting from Seville on 6/20/18

Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
A quick update, I just met the legendary Carmen, can't resist the curioucity and had a plate of Paella from her. She was friendly enough. No one can beat Bar Pepe yet, not even close. Also found a shop in the village, was not listed in the info. It is by the pharmacy and has all the essentials.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 29, Puebla de Sanabria, 15.6km, 4 hours

Today is a short day combined with sightseeing. Even though forecast warned 50% of chance of thunderstorm, I did not get a drop.

Started at 7am, did first 3k on the road to Palacio de Sanabria, Bar Mirador was indeed opened. After a big cup of coffee, I went left and joined the Camino. It immediately felt like walking in the woods in the Northwest America. Occasionally there were still puddles left from previous rain. With the quantity of remaining water, I was wondering how heavy the downpour was like here. It had not rained for several days.

There was one section the grass was so wet, my shoes got wet, too, but no problem, it got dry later. After the last village, it was all paved road. I met my friend again. We first saw the Hostel Trucha, it seemed closed, then we saw the Albergue Casa Luz. We next went to check out Hostel Franceso, we then hope to find Casa Teresa, we were told by two locals, there is not one. I could not find it from the Google Map last night. Anyway, we had crossed the bridge and went to the center.

We decided to eat at Cafe/Bar Espana for tapas. It was indeed a good place to eat. They also have some good items that I had not had before. There were tourists in town, so some of the hotels were fully booked, and some were over priced. Finally we called the Hotel los Perales and got a room to share there. It was 8 euros more per person, but a lot more comfortable than the Casa Luz and about 10 to 15 mins walk to center and Camino right passes it.

After 5pm, I went to visit the castle, it was well preserved, actually a local cultural and history museum. It talked about Sanabria is an area famous for Iberia wolf. Today I saw a deer, not wolf, luckily.

Walking around some of the old street was also quite nice, I visited the old church, too. There were several stores, bakeries, shops and banks in town. I bought freshly made pastry, some fruits and etc. for tomorrow. Some local bakeries make really good pastries. In general, I like pastries in Spain.

I happened to a Michelin 4 * casa rural/cafe/restaurant, had a nice cold rice pudding to serve as an ice cream and took some rest there. My evening meal was tapas at a small cafe by the Hotel Victoria and fruits. The Restaurant Ramete was too early to open, which I was going to eat.

It was a beautiful day spent on the camino and at a beautiful town. Right now my forecast says 90% chance to have thunderstorms after 2pm tomorrow. The rest of the 8 days are sunny.

I may take another short day to avoid the downpour.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 30, Requejo, 10.4km, 2 hour 20 min, N 525 road walking. It was suggested by the locals.

Last night I had 3 different forecasts, mine 90% of rain, Irish friend based on BBC 25% of chance and from Belgium couple, no rain, clouds moved on. Since I have the time, and I do not really think my broken umbrella can withhold the thunderstorm here, I will give myself another short day, not to attempt the climb.

I started at 8am, later than usual, I could see clouds gathered at the far distance. In the mountainous regions, I know, weather is localized, one side of the mountain is raining does not mean the other side is. But rain comes with dark clouds. At 9:30am, I started to get rain drops, but very light, not much wind. After 10am rained no more. My poor umbrella was sufficient.

Before 10:30am I was able to put my pack down in the Albergue and called the day. There were two little shops by the Camino, 2 hostels and 1 albergue in the village and 1 Hostal Tu Casa just outside the village, 5 minutes walking. Total 1 bar, and 3 bar/restaurants. It is interesting that such a small village has so many accommodations. Someone had noted a recommendation on the advertisement posted in the Albergue for Tu Casa. I went there for lunch. The owner was so attentive, he nearly ran to serve each table and his price was very decent for the area. Quite a few workers eat there. Even though the food was ordinary, but it is good to support him.

Shortly after I went back to the Albergue, about 2:30pm, the rain really came down hard and harder. Did not know how long it lasted, stopped and rained again after 4pm. So the vote is going with Google weather, just typing the location.

I am very glad that I did not attempt to get over the highest point of the route. Likely the next section of the camino will be more difficult with the rain on top of the detour and missing way marking due to ungoing Ave construction.

Tonight 4 of us in the Albergue, 2 new friends, 1 Italian and 1 New Zealander. We spent so much time talking, if it was not concerned for walking tomorrow, we could talk to late hours. It was the most lively conversation I had on this Camino, thanks for the Italian.

As for tomorrow, so far messages that we each got was the same walking on the road as much as one could for Lubian. We will see what happens tomorrow.
 

Azelia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018
CNorte 2018
Day 27, Rionegro, 26.1k, 8 hours, could be 27k.

This morning I woke up at 5am by a garbage truck or some kind of truck, so I decided to get up. I took all of my stuff to the kitchen to get ready. That was when I found out my bag of fruits were gone, at first I thought someone mistakenly took my bag in the refrigerator, but my water bottle and a cup were there. it was all together. It did not cost that much for a bag of fruits, but there would be two days without a shop available for me. This was not nice. The goog thing was that I had some cookies and pastry in my backpack, and two boiled eggs in the cup. I was covered for today. Not much to eat in the morning, so I left at 5:45am.

The first half hour I need to use headlamp, but on an even flat country road, very easy. 6km later I came to the gravel quarry. It was in operation, very loud. The noise could be heard far away. There was a nice park by the bridge, but the noise drove me away. I took my first roadside break by an irrigation well.

As expected, at 11km point, Calzadilla de Tera, nothing opened, does not matter it has supermarket, bakery and cafe. A villager showed me a direct road through, which saved some steps and confusion, I got to Olleros de Tera, at the 13km point. The reputable Cafe Bat La Trucha was locked tight. As Hel&Scot said, a good cafe is the one that opens in the morning. So this is not a good one for me. I sat down and had my 2nd break. I had to ration my food intake.

The next 8km to Vilar de Farfon was quite nice, especially after the dam and walking along the reservoir. I rolled out my mat and took a long waterfront picnic. By the way, before the dam, I took the bike route, did not try the muddy one. There were muddy sections earlier today.

Temperatures raised up at middle day, it was getting hot. There were points one can get into the water for a swim, but I did not.

After 12pm, I arrived at Albergue Rehoboth, what a lovely place, I thought about staying, but not enough food for tomorrow and the day after. I can not count on having shops open before 10am. As reported today after 10am, a shop was still closed. But I was able to make coffee here, thank God. if come prepared, it is a good place to stay, for conversation or meditation.

The last 6km took me a bit longer than usual, but I made it after 2 hours. This renovated medieval albergue is absolutely precious, supposedly it was one of the oldest on the camino. I love the high ceilings, the little courtyard and 2nd floor, very spacious. The best of all, My Gusta Comer restaurant was just across the street. It was still open, till 4pm. I was able to shower first and then enjoy its delicious food. Even though there was no shop available here, I had the best food, you must try. Everything was great, sorry I admit I tried a well seasoned roasted rabbit leg too, as I saw many customer ordered it and I had to try.

It was a great day, and I am very glad that the group of 4 went forward for another donative, I was told by our fellow perigrios, they did not pay last night, and there was no host onsite, it was donative.

I hope I do not run into them again. Camino provides, we just need to trust.
Day 27, Rionegro, 26.1k, 8 hours, could be 27k.

This morning I woke up at 5am by a garbage truck or some kind of truck, so I decided to get up. I took all of my stuff to the kitchen to get ready. That was when I found out my bag of fruits were gone, at first I thought someone mistakenly took my bag in the refrigerator, but my water bottle and a cup were there. it was all together. It did not cost that much for a bag of fruits, but there would be two days without a shop available for me. This was not nice. The goog thing was that I had some cookies and pastry in my backpack, and two boiled eggs in the cup. I was covered for today. Not much to eat in the morning, so I left at 5:45am.

The first half hour I need to use headlamp, but on an even flat country road, very easy. 6km later I came to the gravel quarry. It was in operation, very loud. The noise could be heard far away. There was a nice park by the bridge, but the noise drove me away. I took my first roadside break by an irrigation well.

As expected, at 11km point, Calzadilla de Tera, nothing opened, does not matter it has supermarket, bakery and cafe. A villager showed me a direct road through, which saved some steps and confusion, I got to Olleros de Tera, at the 13km point. The reputable Cafe Bat La Trucha was locked tight. As Hel&Scot said, a good cafe is the one that opens in the morning. So this is not a good one for me. I sat down and had my 2nd break. I had to ration my food intake.

The next 8km to Vilar de Farfon was quite nice, especially after the dam and walking along the reservoir. I rolled out my mat and took a long waterfront picnic. By the way, before the dam, I took the bike route, did not try the muddy one. There were muddy sections earlier today.

Temperatures raised up at middle day, it was getting hot. There were points one can get into the water for a swim, but I did not.

After 12pm, I arrived at Albergue Rehoboth, what a lovely place, I thought about staying, but not enough food for tomorrow and the day after. I can not count on having shops open before 10am. As reported today after 10am, a shop was still closed. But I was able to make coffee here, thank God. if come prepared, it is a good place to stay, for conversation or meditation.

The last 6km took me a bit longer than usual, but I made it after 2 hours. This renovated medieval albergue is absolutely precious, supposedly it was one of the oldest on the camino. I love the high ceilings, the little courtyard and 2nd floor, very spacious. The best of all, My Gusta Comer restaurant was just across the street. It was still open, till 4pm. I was able to shower first and then enjoy its delicious food. Even though there was no shop available here, I had the best food, you must try. Everything was great, sorry I admit I tried a well seasoned roasted rabbit leg too, as I saw many customer ordered it and I had to try.

It was a great day, and I am very glad that the group of 4 went forward for another donative, I was told by our fellow perigrios, they did not pay last night, and there was no host onsite, it was donative.

I hope I do not run into them again. Camino provides, we just need to trust.[/QUOTE

Youren, I “found “ you today. YOU are a blessing. We are pllaning to go in Sept. You provide so much info. A question ... what is the name of alburgues you stayed? (After 6 km you found this old alburgues across from Me gusta corner) . Thank you.
 

Azelia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018
CNorte 2018
Youren, I just found you today. What a blessing! We are planning to do this route in September and you offer so much information. I have a question ... what is the name of the medieval alburgues you stayed in Rionegro? Thank you much!
 

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Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Youren, I just found you today. What a blessing! We are planning to do this route in September and you offer so much information. I have a question ... what is the name of the medieval alburgues you stayed in Rionegro? Thank you much!
It is the municipal albergue, right by the church and bridge. You won't miss it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 31, Lubian, 15.1km, 4 hour 20 minutes including breakfast at Padonelo.

Honestly I felt that I have dodged a bullet today. There were many discussions and inquiries. We were given conflicting informations by locals, who had not walked the camino.

It was 11c near 7am this morning. My light jacket was needed. The sunrise started to get a little later each day. I started walking on the N 525 immediately and met a new Spanish pilgrim (section walker). We did not follow the Camino sign to go off road at about 4km point. We stepped on the camino before the bridge that lef to the tunnel, and had a quick discussion. There was no motor vehicles on the road at all, do we decided to go through the tunnel. In normal circumstances, I would be very nervous to go through a tunnel on foot with vehicles passing aside. Here before 8:30am, it was still very quite. The only noise was from nearby highway 52. Even there was not as busy.

The tunnel was 460meters long, has an about 10 to 15meters wide pedestrian path on both side, and most importantly you can see the light from opening. It was not dark at all. If you intend to walk through the tunnel start early to avoid traffic.

After the tunnel, we quickly reached the Hotel/Restaurant Padonelo by the Repsol gas station. The bar in town by the road was closed. Coffee and breakfast there was great. There were 5 of us ended up there, we took the leisure and enjoyed the rare moment.

Afterwards I went to ask the guy at gas station, he said that the camino through Aciberos was cut off by Ave, not passable, go on Z 106, pass Aciberos and through Herodoso, which is about 9.8km total, a few km extra. I asked about the other detour, and told no. In the meantime, Spanish pilgrims asked the girl at the Bar, they were told camino was OK, no problem, so their message was go through Aciberos. Anyway, we set off together and said to each other, we will see what happens when we get to Aciberos.

No too long, we reached the turn off to z106, there we also saw a sign for Camino detour, it was turn left to across the highway. I felt this was the detour Kelly mentioned and I had been looking for. We decided regardless what other said, we would turn left, not turn right to Aciberos. It was a beautiful and easy walk. The turn back to the other side of the highway was quicker than I anticipated, went under the road, but clearly indicated. There was one creek close to Lubian, could be flooded, but right now it was no problem.

It turns out the ascent to the highest point felt like nothing. Not even close to the hills we sometimes hike in the weekends at home. By going on through the 525, I think we had avoided the hard part. We reached the Albergue around 11am. Therefore, two pilgrims decided to go for another 24k. It was quite early.

This albergue is a cute little stone house, situated in this beautiful village. Its natural surroundings is very tranquil and I like it immediately. I also like the balconies. I am staying here.

I have explored this place before I sat down to write. This village has a shop, a restaurant, a bar, a pharmacy and several water fountains, but most of them not drinkable. Overall everything a pilgrim needed is covered.

I could stay here for one more day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 32, A Gudina, 24k, about 7 hours, 3 trail stops, 1 coffee stop. The first time since this camino that I felt I had a good day of hike, very beautiful!

Last night there were 9 pilgrims in the albergue, 2 of us, 2 Germans started from Sevilla, 4 section walkers, 1 cyclist. It was a little crowded since there was only one toilet/shower. We did not talk much and I did not ask about the road condition for the next day.

This morning I left at 6:45am and headed on the camino. The first 2km out of Lubian was easy and clearly marked. After the Santurio, the old church, the challenge came. It was not muddy sections, or crossing running creeks, or ascends, or going under over-grown bushes, but a lack of way marks. From there till the point enter Garlicia, there were so little signs, if I recall correctly, might be 3 total in between. About three times, I backtracked and walked around, just to make sure that I did not miss any turn. I scanned tree trunks, rock surfaces or any possible place for a yellow arrow, at some unsure spots, I saw none. At this point, you will understand when I say that I felt so relieved when I saw lately littered tissue paper on the ground. It means some one had just passing through and I am on the right track.

By the way, I have constantly checked my GPS locations, given good general locations, but not precise at some points.

When I got to the first submit, road condition improved and the need for way marks lessened. I took my first stop and enjoy the panoramic view in front of me. It took me about 2 hours to reach that. At 9:15am, I arrived at the border of Zamora and Galicia.

About another 1 hours, I reached Villavella and detoured to the first bar and thank God, it opened. I took my coffee break. There was a hotel in the same village for coffee/food, but I already had mine. Afterwards no service on the camino unless detour.

Around noon time, I found myself sat on top of a huge rock at a unnamed summit and feeling incredibly at peace. Looking at the surrounding mountains, winding pathes extended to the far horizon and knowing that I had come from a long way, I was happy with where I am and who I am. I know I will forever treasure a moment like this and if I ever get lost, that is where I need to reach back to find myself.

At the village of Canizo, I sat at the stone bench by a picnic table set up by the kind people there I took my last rest stop for the day.

It looks like all 8 of us stayed in the Albergue for tonight. It is Sunday, no shops open, but several restaurants further down the other side of the town open till late hour. This Albergue has kitchen, stove and microwave, but no refrigerator.
 
Thanks so much for these detailed reports, Youren. This thread brings back a lot of memories. I have commented before on how sad I was to see that the route from Aciberos to Lubián was being disrupted by the AVE construction and the area irrevocably changed. I have been there twice. The first time it was one of the most bucolic stages up and around streams, through forests, just magical. The second, which must have been about 5 years ago, the route was still open but I came upon an earth mover, and the man driving it told me that the AVE was going to cut through the camino, charge through that pastoral place, and put pilgrims out on the road. I know these are hard choices — big infrastructure to bring Galicia closer to the rest of Spain vs. preserving these slices of heaven. But it did make me very sad to learn how things were going to change, and it sounds like it is now a done deal. But you say that the alternative is also beautiful, so maybe they have preserved some of this area. Buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 33, Compobecerros, 20km, 5.5hours.

There is a restaurant I would recommend for meat, especially BBQ eaters, it is called El Bufalo at A Gudina, opens from 10 to 5pm. Their 10 euro menu covered 2 meals for me. Many items to choose from. I had first course bread, Cuba rice, a Sunnyside up egg on top of white rice surrounded with Tomato source and a piece of sausage. that was enough for a meal; 2nd plate, 3 big pieces of BBQ ribs, glazed with house seasoning, I could only eat one and French fries, which I did not eat. I also had 3 big slices of melon for dessert, and a cup of coffee at the end. The owner packed bread and ribs for me for dinner along with an unfinished 1.5liter bottle of water. She was very attentive and accept credit card. Lots of locals there, I went based on Google review.

A note for causion, I tried to get cash here. The first, Bank Pastor, I could not find the ATM, the 2nd further on, Caja Rural, or sth. like that name has an ATM facing the street, but rejected my card, 3 times, I tried all 2 options provided, none worked. My bank said I had made wrong choices, asked me to try all option, so I did one more. So get cash from other places. I will wait to the next Santander Bank or Caja Nacional.

Now today.Right now the temperature here is 33c. The day started at 7am with coffee and pastry at the Bar Peregrinos. 85% of the walk on the pave country lane. Most of the time on the ridge, so had 360 degree view, green mountains in all, very few human habitations. Small villages with few houses dotted here or there, not much. I had passed 4 of them, nearly abandoned places, except Botano has a neat apartment for rent, right on the Camino, but only saw an old couple there.

Several sections had no shoulder on the road, you shared the lane with cars. The few detours from the road were fine, except the last one, 5km from Compobeceros, roughly ascent1km, 2km straight descent on rocky uneven surface. Definitely will be hard on a 83 years old. It was near Ave construction.

Afterwards about 1km to Albergue Rosario, private. This albergue is fairly new, has wash machine, but no kitchen. Workers went to Casa Nunez for lunch, lots of them, so did I. The other Taberna Penaboa looked deserted. Bar Rosario has no real food or supply. The menu I had was decent. I was able to ask salad to replace French fry.

It was a beautiful walk overall. The reservoir on the right was lovely too. I had enjoyed my roadside stops. No service in between. Only one fountain looks like drinkable.

The damage from Ave was not substantial.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 34, Albergueria, 25.6km, 7 hours 38 min.

The day started at the Casa Nunez with coffee and potata de tortilla as breakfast, thanks for the Ave workers, it opened at 6:30am. As I left the small medieval village behind, I stepped into a misty world. For the first 2.8km, I have met no car, no person.The only human made noise was from me, my footsteps and my hiking sticks hit the ground.

Everything seemed perfect, and then I felt water soaked behind my waist, I surely did not sweat that much. No, it was the leak from my water bladder. I tightened the tube, could not find any other source, so put the towel around it. The bagpack was a little damp inside, but was not serious, I caught it early.

After another hour, I arrived at As Eiras, saw the little self-help station with thermos for hot water and coffee and some cookies. Shortly after this, there was a nice picnic area with water fountain and tables, one of the best setups on this route.

Before 11am, I arrived at Laza, went to a shop for supply and Restaurant Picota for a snack. Afterwards, 12km with no stop.

The entire route was scenic, a large portion was on paved road especially before Laza, but with little traffic.

After Soutelo, I started to feel tired, 3km later when the ascent started after Tamicelas, I wished I had taken another break at Soutelo. I also realized that my water was completely gone, due to my own drink and the leak. Appearently, the leak did not get completely fixed, but the travel towel was very absorbent, so I did not notice sooner. I have checked it carefully after arrival, there was a tiny leak around the tube attachment. I am not concerned, however, at least, it lasted about 850km and I am getting close. I can simply use water bottle.

The El Rincon del Peregrino is a very interesting place. All walls were decorated by shells written by each pilgrim. My Sanabres Premium app indicated 4 beds only, Kelly's guide 20, Italian guide 24, and the business card at Campobecerros was 30. I have seen two rooms with 14 bunk beds, easy to add two mattresses for two more.

I am very glad that I did the first 14km in the morning, not the end of a long day's walk. I also think this place is very unique, has less industrial feel, and deserves a overnight stop.

Now I am ready to get some rest. Last night, there were 5 of us in Albergue, today maybe 4.
 

hel&scott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Sounds like a lovely day despite the leak. I remember this bar well, somehow when we wrote on our shell I managed to do it upside down, the guy laughed as screwed it up and comments in must because we came from down under.
 

Azelia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018
CNorte 2018
Dear fellow peregrinos, I am glad you like my posts and find it useful.

Day 3, El Real de la Jara, about 26km, 7.5 hours, right now at near 4:30pm, temperature is 32c 90F.

First of all, I have to say, talking about Camino spirit, you need to look no further. I felt so pempered by the volunteer host Thomas, if you ran into him, it is your lucky day, the best host on the Camino ever!

Have you ever run into any host who got up before 5am, toasting bread, making coffer and tea, boiling eggs, and setting up table for 5 pergrinos? Last night before 8pm, rode in 4 Spanish cyclists, they were given downstair room, so I was still able to enjoy the upper room all by myself.

Not only I had one of the best breakfasts, he also given me sandwiches, eggs and tons of oranges for joice and to take on the road. He also has big bottles of ice water for us to take. He is so thoughtful and as a pilgrim himself he had walked all of routes many times and knows exactly what we need.

Where was the stage of Hell?

The taxi he called for me came on the dot on 6:45am, 16.5km later, shortly after 7am I cross the gate of national park and started walking. 3 hours, 12.5km later, I sat at a bar in Almaden drinking coffee and having a snack. The day is still young, the last 4kmish climbing and sharp decent could be a killer if it was long after 12pm and under the burning sun, but this way was nothing much. I do not feel guilty about using a taxi at all.

Left Almaden at 10:40am, walked another 14km, and got to Alojamento de Peregrinos at the Real , the private Albergue right pass the municipal after 2:30pm. I chose this one is because the same price and was given good report. I was given a two person room, but at this low season, I do not feel much difference actually, and probably will get back to municipal.

After 1pm, it was getting more and more difficult due to the heat, had to rest whenever it was possible, used only 2 pieces of energy gelbean, but 2liter water bladder for me was sufficient, only few mouthful left; howevet, I drank 4 cups worth of water before leaving the Albergue, another cup during mid break. Recommend refill water bladder at Almaden if using 2liter bag. Most importantly a reflective trekking umbrella is must. I also have a face mask bought from Amazon for golfer, claimed UV block. Bought right before leaving, used first time. For me it reduced the sense of burning heat, so need to drink less water. Carrying 3 liter is too heavy for me.

I did notice several ponds were accessable, dirty or less dirty along the way, if desperate, water treatment tablets or life straw could be used. The water quality in general is better than the small water holes in US desert as a comparison.

Today it did give me idea how would it be if walking 30km a day, I will definitely leave as early as possible or try to avoid it if the temperature is pass 100F or 40c.

Still comparing to non stop torrential rain, flooded river crossing and muddy road, I would again choose the summer heat. The morning walk is glorious! View attachment 43831 And clothes dry before going to sleep, especially wearing dry socks and shoes.

You just need to come and be prepared.
Hi Youreen, may I ask which alburgues you mentioned here with the nicest hospitalero Thomas please? Thank you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
A volunteer hospitalero only works in a location for 2 weeks, the chance of meeting him there at the same albergue is rare. He will go somewhere else next time, or walk a camino somewhere.

When I did not give specific name, it is the municipal albergue, only one municipal in one location. That was Castilloblanco.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 35, Xunqueira, 20.2km, 6 hours 20 min.

Last night added 3 cyclists, with our 4 at Albergue. Deep at night I woke up by itches. I got bites on face, neck and both hands, those areas were not covered. I immediately went to bathroom to check on the bites, if there were 3 together lined up patterns, there were not, but I had a group of bites on my side face. I used head lamp to check on sheet, pillow, sleeping bag, found nothing. Afterwards, I could not sleep, the more I tossed and turned, the more I felt there were bugs somewhere, but I found none. Those old farm houses have no screen doors and windows. Flies, mosquitos and whatever bug can come easily. I am always the one got the most bites.

Finally I fell into sleep and woke up by 6am. I was exhausted. Now I understand why people burn their clothes after the camino at the first place. I want to burn or threw everything away, too.

It was again a misty morning, very scenic. I walk as quick as I can manage, knowing I will need a good rest today. 2 hours later reached the first open coffee, another 2 hours made to Ville de Barro, a larger village and learned it is a big holiday in Garlicia today and tomorrow, no shops, pharmacies and banks will be open, however, restaurants will. So when I came upon the bar opened by the amigos de Peregrinos another hour later, I again stoped for fresh orange juice and sandwich. With these stops, I made it to the destination after 1pm and settled in the municipal albergue. It felt really good with a long and hot shower. I washed everything in hot water as well.

Tomorrow I will be in Orense, I am going to rest there for one extra day. I need a good soak in hot springs.

Things change so fast, one minute is good, the next minute goes bad. I just have to remind myself again, you are getting so close. Today is a new day!

Life is indeed good !

By the way, all 4 made the same stop, and plus 2 more.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Day 35, Xunqueira, 20.2km, 6 hours 20 min.

Last night added 3 cyclists, with our 4 at Albergue. Deep at night I woke up by itches. I got bites on face, neck and both hands, those areas were not covered. I immediately went to bathroom to check on the bites, if there were 3 together lined up patterns, there were not, but I had a group of bites on my side face. I used head lamp to check on sheet, pillow, sleeping bag, found nothing. Afterwards, I could not sleep, the more I tossed and turned, the more I felt there were bugs somewhere, but I found none. Those old farm houses have no screen doors and windows. Flies, mosquitos and whatever bug can come easily. I am always the one got the most bites.

Finally I fell into sleep and woke up by 6am. I was exhausted. Now I understand why people burn their clothes after the camino at the first place. I want to burn or threw everything away, too.

It was again a misty morning, very scenic. I walk as quick as I can manage, knowing I will need a good rest today. 2 hours later reached the first open coffee, another 2 hours made to Ville de Barro, a larger village and learned it is a big holiday in Garlicia today and tomorrow, no shops, pharmacies and banks will be open, however, restaurants will. So when I came upon the bar opened by the amigos de Peregrinos another hour later, I again stoped for fresh orange juice and sandwich. With these stops, I made it to the destination after 1pm and settled in the municipal albergue. It felt really good with a long and hot shower. I washed everything in hot water as well.

Tomorrow I will be in Orense, I am going to rest there for one extra day. I need a good soak in hot springs.

Things change so fast, one minute is good, the next minute goes bad. I just have to remind myself again, you are getting so close. Today is a new day!

Life is indeed good !

By the way, all 4 made the same stop, and plus 2 more.
I am really enjoying your camino! Thank you for your vivid word pictures. And you are almost there...
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 36, Orense, 21.5km, 6.5 hours

Right now it is 8:38am, I am at Grelo Albergue/Hostel. Just read MileHigh's post today about a young Angonian pilgrim drowned at the River near the bridge in Orense mid day yesterday. And I reached Orense after 1:30pm yesterday. I believe some of my group reached there shortly before that. He could be starting at any point before or after me. I have never met this young men, and did not remember seeing any log signed by an Angonian, but a lost of young life is always very hard for his family and anyone who knows him. May he rest in peace. And my prayer goes to his family. I may learn more about him today.

Now let me catch up about yesterday.

That night we first had 6 people, 2 French speaking new, but they were heading to Zamora from Orense, an opposite direction including a young African male, so it is definitely not him. After 9:30pm, came 5 Spanish pilgrims, they awoke the Albergue with such a force, it continued till after 11pm. I simply started reading.

The next morning an early start became a wishful thinking. I left after 7am. No one was able to headed out early in fact.

Surprisingly I saw a cafe opened by the camino right before leaving the town, so had my coffee. 1 hour later, I reached Pousa, roadside cafes also opened. i passed the first one, but can not resist the 2nd by Auto server. Gladly I stopped, I had the best potato tortilla. This frequent cafe stop reminded me about Frances. If I stop like this, it could take hours to get to Orense. So I just did quick roadside water stops till Reboredo. Without the bladder, I needed to put down my pack to get access to water bottle and put it back. Fortunately with so many small villages in close distance, there were much more benches available. It would be very annoying on the VdlP when i drank so frequently.

Till about 11am I already passed several cafes, and one caught my eye with lots of food displayed at the counter, I had a snack there. Afterwards, following the sign on the ground and yellow arrow I passed Seixalbo and did one last water break. I found the hostel unexpectedly just steps away on my left when I turned on Google map.

All the way I followed the sign without problem, even near Orense, there were enough side walk there.

I like Grelo, so conveniently located, had easy access to everything. I got a cheap lock, a swimming ware, and earbuds from the store next door. Hair salon with pedi/mani one store down the left. I had one and made an appt. before walking in the hostel. Lost my nail clipper and a cut is absolutely necessary if I am going to wear sandals walking around the city. Price is great. Pharmacy was on the right. I was the only one last night, very quiet and clean, only 15euro a night including a very basic breakfast. Municipal is 6 E, but had to leave before 8am. this morning I woke up at 8am.

Yesterday I had a very "busy" schedule, cleaned, visited city, shopped, eat, and soaked at As Bugas" the Roman hotspring in the city and was able to get cash.

I forgot my fitbit and a wrapped at the locked, went back an hour later to retrieve it, they were still there. That was a bonus.

It is a very nice city, I do not know why I did not know it before.

Now I caught up with my homework, need to get ready to the springs outside the center.

Will report later.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 37, Spring Hopping.
There are 6 hot springs outside of city center, really needs a day to try them all.

The little toy like Termal train started at 10am at Plaza Mayor, ended at 8am, every hour, the last train returns is9pm. I took the one at 11am, went all the way to the last stop at the Themas Qutariz. Before this last stop is the Estacion Termal Qutariz. It charges 5.5 eurofor entrance fee. It could easily be charged to 30 euro at other places, so it is a good value, but I dislike the feel of a resort. There are two more natural ones ahead. First, Termal Qutariz, is free with toilet, changing room/locker and a little further under the shadow of a bridge, a 2 minutes walk, is Termal Canedo. It is my favorite. Large areas, water temperature is good, grass lawn to picnic or napping and has river access. I left my clothes in the locker at Qutariz, went to both free ones and had picnic there.

Afterwards, I walked into the paid one and then decided not to stay. So I walked to, Termas Muno de Veiga, which is literally by the river, also free, has larger pools, but the water was really hot, hard to stay long. Need to dip into the river to cool off. I like the view here, too.

From here to Chavasqueira is 3km, rather than waiting for the train, I took the easy river walk.

At the paid Therma Chavasqueria, there is a restaurant. I had a sandwitch and fresh orange juice for lunch, also booked 50 minutes massage service. It is similar to my insurance payment at home with copay and co insurance. Then went to the free pools outside of the fence. Three pools have distinctive temperatures, it was nice and right at the river, claimed has Japanese onsen style, but all of these springs reminded me onsens in Japan. By the way, that restaurant serves Japanese tea, miso soup and noodles, as well as sushi.

The water has some sulfur smell, but not that strong. The pools were very comfortable, lots of flat stone surfaces to sit or lying down. I like them a lot. I felt into sleep during my massage. I am so glad that I had this extra day.

When I did my first camino 5 years ago, I was so afraid that I might get injured or I might not able to make it, so I was saving those extra days for emergencies and did not use one. I also did not carry a cellphone, had no map, no GPS, just relied on the signs I also made effort to avoid private albergues, and chosed only the authentic route. All in all I simply wanted to do "The Right Way".

Now I ask myself what really is the Right Way? I spent more money and time to research just to get something with lesser weight, with better technical features. What is the real difference between that and someone spending more money at a private albergue to have a little more comfort? Would I ever add stones on my pack or force longer distance to increase my sufferings? Would one's suffering win ultimate salvation after all? So I simplely walk a step at a time and take whatever comes next.

When I went back to my room, I ran into a busy crowd. Tonight I was told the place was full.

After all, this starts the last 100km, just like Sarria. Would I run into a trouble for not having a bed in the next few days?
 

hel&scott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Ahh spas, glad you enjoyed a good soak, you've earned it!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
@Youren2010 Did you bother taking swimwear for the spas? Or just wear your regular hiking underwear? much of it looks like swim wear anyway ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
I bought a swim bottom just in case, after reading some reports online about restrictions in swim wear, but no need to use, and returned it. I had only running shorts and sports bra happened to have matching color lines.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 38, Cea, 23.3km, 7 hours

From Grelo Hostal getting on the Camino was easy. After Roman bridge, there were two options, right and left, right has confusing signs and 2 extra km, so I went left. It was clearly marked.

It took me no more than an hour to finish the climb out of the valley. That was fine. The visit and stop at Case Caesar were interesting too. Caesar has lots of stories to tell.

I did some road stops and got to the Albergue before 2pm. It seems that a big old stone farm house converted to an Albergue, it was interesting, but the kitchen area was very small and 40 beds with 2 small toilets. I hope not all beds be taken.
So far, not everyone at Grelo came here. The private hotel at Pazos, 2km before Cea were full. and a few young people went further, did not stop.

It was a cloudy today, which made the climb a lot easier, but I am not prepared to walk 9km more to the Monastery. 4 days to go?
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycle via del la Plata
Thank-you so muchfor your wonderful post - look forward to each post- best of luck for the last part of your walk
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 39, Castro Dozon, 15km, 4 hours 30 min

At 7am, the owner at the Sol y Lune coffee unlocked the door, I had the famous Cea pan for breakfast and a cup of coffee. She told me it would open around 6:30am last night, glad that I did not go there early. The pan was good, I had it from my menu de dia yesterday as well, but not worth the trouble buying a whole bread to take on the road.

Today there are two options again, left and right. I had asked myself if I would go to the Oseira monastery several times, I could go there and then overnight at Dozon, or stay at the monestery tonight, when I got to the fork, I went left, no detour.

The sign for the left route right now was complete, easy to follow, and all the way through. At 6km point, I stopped at the cafe at Arenteiro. There was quite a gathering, lots of boothes along the road, right after Pinor. A section of the road was blocked for traffic. I asked someone if there will be a fiesta or street fair, the answer was very surprising, car racing, starting at 10am, for both yesterday and today. Later I did see about 30 race cars in the church parking lot by the cafe.

Camino and car racing, I sat there watching those young drivers, quite amused. But I did not stay for the event, more people are coming, I got to go. Afterwards I could hear the roaring of those muscle cars for more than an hour, I was really glad that I am not road walking with them.

The municipal albergue was by a swimming pool, in a lovely setting with a garden, and has a kitchen, the downside was the shower, one like school gym's locker room, no divider, no curtain and the main door has no lock. It was not a problem for me; however, since I was the only one using it at the time, very early.

I was also very fortunate and got a bed in a 2 beds room with a little extra pay. When I saw a pile of bags on the floor and learned there would be 55 kids coming, I had to ask if there were other choices. Yes, it has three 2 beds rooms, only 2 were reserved by kids' teachers. So I took the room immediately and shared with my friend.

The capacity for this place is 30 beds. You can imagine now with cramped beds and mattresses. I had called and booked a bed for a private hostel supposedly with only 12 beds for tomorrow near Silleda.

This is really more and more like Frances. I do not know how people manage there.

Still, today it is a good day. I am going to cook with pastas. The cafe will have enough customers tonight.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Thanks so much for these detailed reports, Youren. ... The second, which must have been about 5 years ago, the route was still open but I came upon an earth mover, and the man driving it told me that the AVE was going to cut through the camino, charge through that pastoral place, and put pilgrims out on the road. I know these are hard choices — big infrastructure to bring Galicia closer to the rest of Spain vs. preserving these slices of heaven. But it did make me very sad to learn how things were going to change, and it sounds like it is now a done deal. But you say that the alternative is also beautiful, so maybe they have preserved some of this area. Buen camino, Laurie
Hola Laurie - I support you vote of thanks to Youren. Now about those "changes for the better"? why could not the original route be reinstated - with some more underpasses/overpasses to avoid the trainline?? Cheers
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 40, Trasfontao, 26km, 6.5 hours.

The cafe of the swimming pool did not open, only Bar Canton opened for the day. Cafe Fraga closed at 2pm because it was Sunday. I bought a few things in the back before its closing.

I do not know how many people ended up in the Albergue last night. This morning after 6am, the line in the bathrooms started forming. Only 2 toilet stalls and 2 sinks for each gender, this is expected. And the children were not up yet.

I left Albergue in the dark at 6:45am. Today's forecast was 40% of chances of rain. It was a bit cold, so far for the past three nights I had needed to wear jacket to sleep in the early morning hours, but the sun came up after 10:30am. Local elderly wear jackets any way.

The route started on the N 525, then mixed with dirt trail and paved country lane. There was no cafe on the camino till Ma Jose, cafe/restaurant, at A Laxe, 18km away. This was quite different from the past two days. I had assumed, a few cafe stops available till I read the info last night. I did see a sign for Taberna da Vento pointed left; however, but I did not leave the camino, and went forward. The cafe at Eirexe did not open when I got there at 10:30am, which was a disappointment.

I did have enough water and snacks with me, so with roadside rest, not a problem. At Jose's I had a big cup of fresh orange juice. Stoped at Prado, 2km away for the shop, and thought to have a lunch at Pulperia Alto da Pena, a local restaurant with good ratings, but lunch did not start till 2:30pm. It obviously was not a day for me to eat out. So I simply went straight to the Albergue and ignored the sign for a restaurant 200m off the camino.

Inspite of not refueled by coffee, it was a quiet and peaceful walk through countryside and deep woods. I was pleasantly surrounded by lush green. The rain only came and gone as the clouds moving in and out. It was like mist, not enough to wet my clothes. So it was very refreshing. The sun still came out at 10:30am, but was interrupted by clouds through out the afternoon.

I only met one pilgrim on the road. Most of the others were behind. When I arrived at the gate of the Albergue Turistico Transfontao, what a tranquil place! It was a traditional farm house, like a simple country villa, with front garden and back yard. There were two black and white cows in the property. I am the only pilgrim here in a 4 bunkbeds room.
When I asked about the kitchen, I was given a picnic stove to cook some simple food. A meal delivery is also available.

Right now after nap, I am sitting at a lounge chair, looking at trees, flowers, a small pool and writing this post.

Wait, the kids group just passed my front gate with a bombox playing music. It is about 6pm. They did not stop at A Laxe! They are going to Silleda, 28km. Where are they going to stay tomorrow? No place listed has more than 36 beds before Santiago. Outeiro Xunta 26km?

Well, right now, just let me enjoy this quiet night here alone.
 

hel&scott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Sometimes they arrange for school groups to stay at local sports halls etc, as you say not many Alberuges on this route can accomodate large groups so you may be lucky. Starting early and staying in the small places between larger towns really helps. Good luck with your continuing search for an open cafe for your morning coffee.
 

MileHighPair

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2014: Cam. Frances
2015: Chimayo, USA.
2016, 2017: VdlP
2018: Madrid and Ourense
Enjoy your last couple of days, you've had an amazing journey, and we have enjoyed following it. If you want to avoid the "kids group", you could stop in Ponte Ulla, about 5km before the Outeiro albergue. There are several options for small hotels there. Either way, Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 41, 25km, 6.5 hours
Thank you all for your well wishes and support!

MilehighPair, you are right, I am staying at Point Ulla, O'Crucero de Ulla, near Dia market.

This morning I left my villa right before 7am, as I am leaving the village, the rosters there just started calling, even them had different morning hours than other places.

When I walked on the main street of Silleda around 7:30am. I ran into those kids as they either had their breakfast or on the way to get one. I was able to have my coffee before turning to the camino.

Afterwards it was 7km walk to Bandeira in the fog. This area is much more populated than earlier provinces; however, the fog likes a bride's veil leaving you with imagination of her beauty.

I had a restful night and felt very good. My bag was the lightest so far, since I only carried one 50ml bottle of water for today and ate most of my food. I made good progresses. I thought about pushing past Outeiro, but found only one choice before Santiago, which was a hotel, not my liking. I also thought about going to Santiago in one shot, I know there are people doing it, but why hurry? Would I be back here again? So I took my time and stopped at a pastry store.

After 5km, there is another cafe. Today it is completely opposite of yesterday, but I can not have another coffee. I stopped there and talked to my friends.

One more cafe after 4km, but this time I moved on. Before I knew it, I was at the bridge of Ulla. I first went to Rio Restaurant, it was fully booked; so I went to Cruceiro. I was given a choice of sharing with another person in a room with a window or have a windowless room by myself, same price. After taking a look, I chose sola.

Right now I am seating at the Rio restaurant by the river after a nice lunch with fish. I was the only one in the back room facing the bridge, all is quiet.

Tomorrow at this time, I may still be waiting in line at the pilgrim office, or at the staircase in front of the cathderal watching pilgrims coming or at the bus station, I thought about not staying overnight at Santiago ( I had booked two nights at St Martin Pinario right before my flight out of Santiago, so I can go to cathedral at the quiet hour), in any case, I will be back in the crowds again.

Only 22-23km away from Santiago. It is unreal!

One more day!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Finesterre 2015
VdlP 2017
Thank you for your descriptive post-I look forward to reading your updates every day! I appreciate them, especially as I know you are typing them on your phone! Congratulations on nearing your completion, but may your future hold many more Caminos!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) ; 1st Camino ; Frances Way ; 2017 Camino Frances begins August 10,2017
You posting are a treasure trove of information that I will glean all I can from them to use on the Via de la Plata in 2019 ... Thank You ! Buen Camino !!!! :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Day 42, Santiago, 21km, 17 to 24c

Everything that has a beginning will have an end, but Camino seems to be an exception, because your camino started when you bought your ticket, or your camino starts when you leave Santiago. No matter how you look at it or what you say. It is total metaphorical; therefore, I will not say I had finished my camino, I just reached a new stage.

This morning I woke up before my alarm clock, because my next door neighbor got up. After a quick bite with the food I had, I left the Albergue at 6:30am without a cup of coffee. I could get one from the vending machine at the gas station, but I am eager to get going. By the time I reached Outerio the Albergue was near empty, only two cyclists were still there, so I was able to get in to use the restroom. Normally I would not detour to look for one, only if it is right on the camino. I guess with 16km distance from Santiago, pilgrims here left early for pilgrim MASS.

By the way, this Albergue is modern and new, has the necessary amenities that a pilgrim needs. On this route, I like many of the albergues, especially those renovated old houses. They are small, but unique, full of history, unlike those concrete giants on the French route that serve 100+ people, have so much institutional feel, efficient, but cold. One thing I also noticed unlike French route, there were not many monasteries or convents serving for pilgrims.

After another 8km, at A Susan there was a sign for cafe led me away from the Camino, I had the only coffee stop. From this cafe, you donot need to go back to find the camino. Walk straight forward along the main road, it will meet the camino and turn left.

Another 4km to Pineiro, there was also a sign for cafe, a little detour. I did not bother. 5km more it is the Cathedral!

When I got close to the city, on the highway bridge, I saw people left things, hats, old tshirts, scarfs, a pair of worn shoes, and etc. tied on the iron fence, there were a few faded away flower bundles too. It really looked like a junk yard, I am sorry to say, which prevented me leave anything there.

After another 1 km, finally, I saw the church tower. Than I heard the bell, it was about 12pm, I was getting closer. The next turn I was there among the crowds. People were still in line trying to get into the cathedral. Many of them were taking photos in the front as well. I dutifully took mine, stood there for a while to absorb the scene and then went to look for the pilgrim office. It has moved since my last visit and took me a while to find it. It is on the side of the Parador now.

The line there was short, thanks for the mass. I got a regular credential, and the new distancia (3 euros). For the dual pilgrim completing Kumano Kondo in Japan, I was told to go to the Tourist Office of Santiago. There was no line there. There is not a separate certificate. Just to register the dates and the routes for both, you get a stamp and a pin with both logos. The credential from Japan I got this spring is two sided, one side for Japan and one side for Spain, and it is free. I was able to use both sides and save it as a souvenir.

When all of the business are taken care of, I felt like I am ready to go, I got the bus schedules for Lugo and A Coruna from the tourist office and headed to the bus station.

At 3:30pm. I was on the bus to Lugo.

I did thought about briefly walking a portion of Primitive or Ingles. I am 3 days ahead of schedule and have 4 days to spare, probably could be 100km for either one, but I changed my mind. I will just bus there and see how it is like. I also left my shoes by the garbage can in the bus station, thus no turning around.

My brand new Altra Long Peak, its lining fabrics in the back above the heel not the tractions on the bottow fell apart a week before, could not stand the abuse, so I left it behind. The strong sun made the fabric very fragile; the worst, its original insoles only lasted two uses. The rubbery part shrunk the 2nd day after being exposed to the afternoon sun for 2 to 3 hours when left outside. I brought the insole with me to switch with green superfeet, but ended up only used superfeet.

I feel a bit strange at the Albergue here among other pilgrims who will either continue their way of Primitive or start their 100km camino tomorrow, because I had just put my walking sticks away, and yet I can not see myself staying more than 2 nights at Santiago. Even though the last few days there were a few more people on the road, I was still walking alone daily, I am not yet prepared to see hundreds of pilgrims, tourists and groups of scouts and students.

I like Lugo, this walled old Roman city. Tomorrow I will catch the 1:30pm bus, the first one to Ribadeo for the Cathedral beach. It seems the low tide is after 2:30pm. I will see what happens.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Finesterre 2015
VdlP 2017
Congratulations! For me, the camino has always been about the journey, rather than the destination. Reaching The cathedral is a milestone, not my goal. I like your idea that a camino can begin from Santiago! Thank you for all your posts along your journey.

Wherever your next stage takes you, buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Congratulations on reaching Santiago! Love the photos you posted as I did my camino at the same time of year so it looked very familiar indeed. The VDLP/Sanabres is definitely something special.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Various (‘12, ‘13, ‘15, ‘16, ‘18)
Congratulations,
I have spent so much time with you on your pilgrimage that you feel like family. Your post helped me relive the wonderful and challenging life of a pilgrim. May the confidence that you gained on your journey serve you well throughout life.
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Closing post for this live report.

After two nights at Lugo, two nights at A Coruna, and two nights at Santiaho, I will fly out of Santiago tomorrow.

I really like Lugo and A Coruna, they were nice surprises for me. I almost did not know anything about them before this trip; howevet, I was not able to go to Cathedral beach, because the bus schedule made a reasonable day trip impossible. Information provided by the information office was incorrect, even though I did register and obtain permit for that day. Overnight at Ribadeo is necessary.

At the Albergue in Lugo, I noticed that pilgrims were much younger and really fit for the Primitive route. They used completely different shoes, bags and etc. They were hiking gears for colder weather, while I was using walking gears for hot climate.

After obtaining maps from pilgrim office and studied the profiles. I think Norte and Primitive are much more difficult than VdLP in terms of elevation gain and loss. Taking away the heat factor and long distance, VdLP was generally not difficult.

If I were to take one of those above mentioned route, serious training is needed.
One distinctive factor made VdLP unique definitely is the solitude. I am not sure if Norte has as few pilgrim as VdLP has. Primitive is already quite popular now.

In any case, it is great that for the next few years I will have other caminos to think about.

Santiago and the plaza in front of the Cathedral are very different from what I saw and felt five years ago. Of couse, every trip here can not be repeated, but I do not remember seeing so many beggars around including young male "pilgrims", the toy train ( tourist train) parked in front of the cathedral and the long lines waiting to get in.

What I have been telling myself is that I have benefited so much from the camino, so do many others; therefore, Camino is made for everyone.


My dear fellow peregrinos, thank you again for sending your encouragement and well wishes my way. I was not really walking alone because many of you were walking with me.

Buen Camino to you all!

If anyone has any question after reading my posts or about VdLP, please do not hesitate to ask.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Update at Santiago airport about folded trekking poles.

My trusted Black Diamond Z poles were stopped at the security and had to be checked in, even though I had went through many international airports without any problem before. I had always taking them as carry-on.
 

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata (2018)
Via de la Plata, here I am.

It was a huge surprise and much appreciated that the day started with clouds and few rain drops at Sevilla, it was very pleasant. I took the river route, did coffee stop at Santionce. In order to beat the afternoon heat without visiting Italica, saved the Roman ruins at Zamora and etc. later. Reached destination around noon. Walked with a veteran pilgrim from Sevilla, who returned by bus, saw no one else. At the municipal Albergue at Guillena, I am the only pilgrim, and have the facility completed by myself, basic, but clean and with wifi and kitchen.

I am very happy to be back on the Camino.

The flooded river crossing in Spring was completely dry now. Overall the view was great, especialy Love, love the sunflower fields.



View attachment 43806 View attachment 43807
Hola Youren2010,
I hope all is going well with you.
I enjoyed your post. I will start walking the VDLP in September and I am very excited to start.
I hope you will continue to post, and mention anything that you think might help those who are coming behind you.
Buen Suerte y Camino,
Dominick
 

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata (2018)
Thank you all for your support, most of the spots were under control, found on other parts of the body too, except one on the forearm still swellon, no new one was broken, I am sure it will get better soon. The cream works.

Day 8, Torremejia, 28k, 7 to 7.5 hours, roadside stops only, no service, no water supply, and no shade.

It could be a miserable stage, but God has mercy, temperature remained low, when we left it was 17c, after 12pm still partly cloudy, by 2pm felt like 20+c. This absolutely made a difference. I was very tired after 1pm, but not to a point of exhaustion. We went out separately this morning in order to do it on our own pace. I was the last one to arrive, still average 4km a hour, not bad at all, if it is 30+c temperature I know I could only do 2.5k to 3k a hour after 1pm. I dread of some of the 28+ km day ahead, the distance itself is already a challenge for me. I will save a few of my bus/train rides for them if it is available.

The section of original Rome road is 16k, straight line, you can close your eyes walking it without getting lost. I do not know why organizations put road marks, arrows, but not bothered to put extra pieces of stones for pilgrims to sit. I sat on the road markers whenever I can, it only fits one person obviously. Only one covered resting place was encountered on this road so far. it was yesterday. A few benches in town centers, but on the shadeless road, nothing was there.

Yesterday we met a Spanish couple heading to Merida in the Albergue. Today we did not see them or anyone else.

The esteemed Albergue palacio was closed, called phone number listed on the book and app, no answer or recording. Shortly after a man in the neighborhood came and told us it was closed for renovation. Informed us the private Rio Rojo was open, but recommended us taking a bus to Merida instead. That is 15km away. Even though the albergue was basic, I found it ok, all of our group stayed here. I learned soon that nearby Hostal Millennium was a terrible place for 40 euro a night a double room , not recommend.

Not notifying online or albergues in earlier stages about closing is a bit upsetting. You detour from your route at the end of a long walk in order to get here, only find out that the door is locked, you are not sure to wait or to leave, this was the 3rd one recommended by Kelley' book and a lodging list posted on the forum. but closed.

View attachment 44093

We ran into two baggers today first time, mother with children, have not seen any in other villages. When near a big city, we always need to be cautious. Tomorrow a short stage to Merida.

Forecast says it may rain on Saturday. A raining day might be a welcoming change.
Hola Youren,
I hope you are bien.
Are you using Gerald Kelly's guide book? If so, do you find it to be accurate? Are the roads and trails very well marked with Camino marking?
Very much enjoying your posts. I will be walking the VDLP this September.

Hasta Luego,
Dominick
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Hola Youren,
I hope you are bien.
Are you using Gerald Kelly's guide book? If so, do you find it to be accurate? Are the roads and trails very well marked with Camino marking?
Very much enjoying your posts. I will be walking the VDLP this September.

Hasta Luego,
Dominick
Hi, Dominick,
I have seen English speakers only used Kelly's, if they carried a hard copy.

I have carried his PDF pages, thanks Kelly for making this available. Most of the time, however, I just follow the arrows and checked GPS on my Gaia GPS app (paid version, which was bought about 3 years ago) on the trail/road and Google maps in the city/town. I tried to premark the locations of Albergues for each stage ahead after I started, so I could find them quickly.

I have bought the VDLP and Sanabres apps premium versions, which I used daily to look at the profile, albergue info and service info. (By the way, Sanabres premium app does not have a section called servicios.) I only briefly scanned their descriptions about the route. Those photos in the app I did not spend time looking at each of them.

Kelly has lots of good descriptions about the route, but I just could not remember them, even if it was only the section info for that day, only very few key points. It would be too hard for me stopping every so often to read any guide book honestly.

People had commented that German guidebook is the most detailed one. I did see them each carrying a guidebook.

I also relied on Google for more detailed info about cities and sites visited.

I hope this helps.

You will have a great time in Sept.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
welcome home! loved following you. Let me know if you want to go on a nice long walk to chambers bay...
Thanks for asking! I would love to do that in September and to catch up, I am still out traveling, won't be home till the end of August to go back to work.

Enjoy your beautiful weather at home, every where else has some heat waves.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata (2018)
Hi, Dominick,
I have seen English speakers only used Kelly's, if they carried a hard copy.

I have carried his PDF pages, thanks Kelly for making this available. Most of the time, however, I just follow the arrows and checked GPS on my Gaia GPS app (paid version, which was bought about 3 years ago) on the trail/road and Google maps in the city/town. I tried to premark the locations of Albergues for each stage ahead after I started, so I could find them quickly.

I have bought the VDLP and Sanabres apps premium versions, which I used daily to look at the profile, albergue info and service info. (By the way, Sanabres premium app does not have a section called servicios.) I only briefly scanned their descriptions about the route. Those photos in the app I did not spend time looking at each of them.

Kelly has lots of good descriptions about the route, but I just could not remember them, even if it was only the section info for that day, only very few key points. It would be too hard for me stopping every so often to read any guide book honestly.

People had commented that German guidebook is the most detailed one. I did see them each carrying a guidebook.

I also relied on Google for more detailed info about cities and sites visited.

I hope this helps.

You will have a great time in Sept.
Hi Youren,
I hope all is going well with you.
Thanks for your reply and thoughts, it is very helpful. Actually, I have found your posts to be helpful and insightful.
If you don't mind me asking: What cell service do you use? I have Verizon, and I am trying to decide whether I should go with their International Plan or purchase a SIM Card in Spain? Any suggestions?

Buen Camino,
Dominick
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata (2018)
Day 41, 25km, 6.5 hours
Thank you all for your well wishes and support!

MilehighPair, you are right, I am staying at Point Ulla, O'Crucero de Ulla, near Dia market.

This morning I left my villa right before 7am, as I am leaving the village, the rosters there just started calling, even them had different morning hours than other places.

When I walked on the main street of Silleda around 7:30am. I ran into those kids as they either had their breakfast or on the way to get one. I was able to have my coffee before turning to the camino.

Afterwards it was 7km walk to Bandeira in the fog. This area is much more populated than earlier provinces; however, the fog likes a bride's veil leaving you with imagination of her beauty.

I had a restful night and felt very good. My bag was the lightest so far, since I only carried one 50ml bottle of water for today and ate most of my food. I made good progresses. I thought about pushing past Outeiro, but found only one choice before Santiago, which was a hotel, not my liking. I also thought about going to Santiago in one shot, I know there are people doing it, but why hurry? Would I be back here again? So I took my time and stopped at a pastry store.

After 5km, there is another cafe. Today it is completely opposite of yesterday, but I can not have another coffee. I stopped there and talked to my friends.

One more cafe after 4km, but this time I moved on. Before I knew it, I was at the bridge of Ulla. I first went to Rio Restaurant, it was fully booked; so I went to Cruceiro. I was given a choice of sharing with another person in a room with a window or have a windowless room by myself, same price. After taking a look, I chose sola.

Right now I am seating at the Rio restaurant by the river after a nice lunch with fish. I was the only one in the back room facing the bridge, all is quiet.

Tomorrow at this time, I may still be waiting in line at the pilgrim office, or at the staircase in front of the cathderal watching pilgrims coming or at the bus station, I thought about not staying overnight at Santiago ( I had booked two nights at St Martin Pinario right before my flight out of Santiago, so I can go to cathedral at the quiet hour), in any case, I will be back in the crowds again.

Only 22-23km away from Santiago. It is unreal!

One more day!
I could only imagine how you must feel - after such a journey; maybe even "bitter-sweet". I admire your attitude. I can't wait to have a similar feeling - pronto. Buen Camino, Dominick
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
Hi Youren,
If you don't mind me asking: What cell service do you use? I have Verizon, and I am trying to decide whether I should go with their International Plan or purchase a SIM Card in Spain? Any suggestions?

Buen Camino,
Dominick
I have TMobile, it is already included in the Simple Choice monthly plan, data and text are free, call will be charged per minute, unless you call through wifi. As you know I had used it for posting, checking emails, texting, map search and etc., except not enough speed for uploading or downloading images, or download kindle books and audio books.

For international travels, Tmobile has been great, no more buying SIM cards. If you travel a lot internationally, it is worth considering switch it.

Usually a local SIM card is cheaper than your own phone company's international plan.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata (2018)
Update at Santiago airport about folded trekking poles.

My trusted Black Diamond Z poles were stopped at the security and had to be checked in, even though I had went through many international airports without any problem before. I had always taking them as carry-on.
Youren,
Thank-you so much for sharing your experience with the rest of us. I found your posts to be very helpful and insightful; and hope to reference them when I walk the VDLP this September.
I wish you the best on all your future journeys.

Hasta Luego y Buen Camino,
Dominick
 



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