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Lugo to Sobrado 2016

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
@peregrina2000 @NualaOC
Just a few thoughts on this variant. Thanks first to all the information already here in various threads which encouraged me to give this a go. I was walking the Primitivo and wanted to have a bit longer before hitting the Frances and also was keen to visit the (active working) monastery in Sobrado dos Monxes.

www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/alternative-way-from-lugo-to-santiago.7380/ and
www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/lugo-to-sobrado-not-missing-santa-eulalia.24326/ and
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/santa-eulalia-de-boveda.30227/#post-257832

@petro delighted to read of your experience this year - I walked this about 10 days before you. www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/in-sobrado-dos-monxes.40795/

1. I didn't stay in the albergue in Lugo - I took two nights for a break and stayed in a hotel, so didn't get any information from there. I went to the Tourism Office to look for a map or information and received a rather frosty reception. The guy more or less told me that there were two different caminos, Norte and Primitivo, and said I had to pick one and stick to it! I asked him for a map, and he said he didn't have any. He was definitely unwilling to assist me although I wouldn't say he was rude. But what we call where I come from a "jobsworth".
2. I borrowed the German "red-and-yellow" book for the Primitivo from a fellow walker and photographed a dozen or so pages with useful maps for the stage Lugo-Friol and Friol-Sobrado. The maps were very reassuring the odd time I thought I was lost. I don't speak any German unfortunately.
3. I walked the first section on Sunday 8th. I think the fact of Sunday is significant....not a soul to be seen in the fields! Or anywhere else. I can say truthfully I met no single person on the 30km until I got to Friol, except two people who came out to call their dogs off me!
4. I took the very short detour (just a few 1oom) into St Eulalia de Boveda, but sadly everything closed up resolutely on Sunday. I did settle in the Church grounds for lunch. There is a strange cross on the gate out of the top of the churchyard....I cut my forehead on it going out and then cut my forehead again coming back in!
5. The second day, from Friol on, there were a few people working in fields and it was useful to get confirmation of the way now and then. Anyone I asked gave me very confident confirmation of the direction.
6. Mud was quite an issue. I think it would be hard to walk without a stick of some sort. I had to resign myself to getting very wet and muddy on occasion. Once or twice I decided to try walking on the road instead, and was happy to see arrows pointing me back to the off-road path. Likewise, would have been difficult to walk in shorts, because of quite overgrown paths on occasion.
7. Green arrows. The path is essentially very well marked. There are confusing marks on occasion, but I only had to backtrack about 1km once. There is a confusingly signed choice at one point between passing through Alta and Retorta - I chose Alta and turned left.
8. Dogs. There are far more free dogs than on other routes, I thought. I don't mind (much). If you really are worried by dogs this could be an issue.
9. Pension Benigno in Friol was closed up and bar was closed. I had not booked. I rang the number in the door and someone emerged from inside and welcomed me in. They opened the restaurant for me alone that night. They were exceptionally hospitable - huge meal, including coffee and oruxo! Breakfast in the bar on Monday morning. They gave me a printout of a Spanish guide (with a poor English machine translation) for the day from Friol to Sobrado, which was not really helpful. It kept saying, for example, go 200m and turn left and then 400m and turn right, but not easy to follow in fact. It is available online, but I cannot find it right now.
10. Sellos - you can get one at a nice modern timber and glass bar/restaurant just next to the church as you come in to Friol, and again at the Pension.
11. The lady in the bar in Meson (where you join the Norte) was excited to hear I had come from Friol and gave me a cake!

In short: if you like being alone, and are willing to take a slight chance, it is a beautiful two days. The two stretches along the river, at the start of each day, are terrific. Among my favourite Camino days ever - ironic as @petro says - because not strictly on Camino!! And the monastery was wonderful, and a nice place to stay - there is an albergue in the town as well.
If you are uncomfortable being alone, or being approached by significant numbers of dogs, you might at least want to walk with someone else. If you are uncomfortable in mud, you might wish to avoid: I don't think walking on the road any more than is unavoidable would have been as attractive an option. Get the pages with maps from the German book, and you will not go too far wrong.

I'd love to hear other people's experience.
 
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C

Castilian

Guest
They gave me a printout of a Spanish guide (with a poor English machine translation) for the day from Friol to Sobrado, which was not really helpful. It kept saying, for example, go 200m and turn left and then 400m and turn right, but not easy to follow in fact. It is available online, but I cannot find it right now.
http://estradasecorredoiras.blogspot.com/2010/01/de-lugo-friol-entre-el-camino-primitivo.html
http://estradasecorredoiras.blogspot.com/2010/01/de-friol-sobrado-dos-monxes-entre-el.html
 

petro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2008 April/May) (2011 May/June) (2014 May/June), Camino Primitivo (May 2016)
Hi Timr

That pretty much sums up my experience as well. I was fortunate to have a walking partner and he had the german guide book as well. The dogs were sometimes scary but most of the times their owners called them off. On the way to Friol the only people (except for the farmer who got us back on track) we saw were 2 other pilgrims. They were entering the site of Eulalia as we were leaving.
The two days on the "green arrow" way was one of the highlights of my camino.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/in-sobrado-dos-monxes.40795/
@Castilian Thanks for those links. That is not the one they gave me. It looks very useful. Especially the maps.

I did download a couple of wikiloc maps put up by people who had done the route - but to be honest I didn't work out how to use them...

Oh I can see now it does include a link to the pdf printouts they gave me in the Pension.
 
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timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Hi Timr

That pretty much sums up my experience as well. I was fortunate to have a walking partner and he had the german guide book as well. The dogs were sometimes scary but most of the times their owners called them off. On the way to Friol the only people (except for the farmer who got us back on track) we saw were 2 other pilgrims. They were entering the site of Eulalia as we were leaving.
The two days on the "green arrow" way was one of the highlights of my camino.
Have to agree @petro - 'highlight days'. Given the provisos, I would encourage anyone who was tempted in the least to give it a go.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Well I am going to try a different route. Lugo to Santa Eulalua to Albergue Ponte Ferreira. Then the next day to Sobrado. Is that crazy?

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...-not-missing-santa-eulalia.24326/#post-401956
@peregrina2000 Haha, if you are crazy, it will help. I am jealous of your proposed excursion! BTW Laurie, I must say a belated thanks for all your really useful posts about the Primitivo which helped me very much in my planning this year, along with @ebrandt 's very helpful guide, and of course all the little additions from everyone else.

@NualaOC says
Thank you @timr, @petro and @Castilian - this is really good information. Threads like this are the reason why I love this forum!
and I must say I agree 100%

I was sorry to get to Eulalia and find it closed, though it was not my prime reason for the detour - that was the monks at Sobrado. But unusually on this Camino I had brought a proper camera with me and wanted to do a good bit of photography and I am even sorrier now when I see pictures of what I missed at St Eulalia. I will have to leave it on my to-do-list!

I see that you champion the less-walked ways Laurie and I will be following up on them in the future.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
I walked Friol to Sobrado on Wednesday last week. The lady in the bar Suso in Meson got excited to see me too! She is a lovely lady. Unfortunately I could not try the Lugo to Friol section as it was 40 degrees C on Tuesday so I had to go by bus. Luckily Friol has a beautiful municipal swimming pool which was some consolation.

I was given the same info in the Pension Benigno as in the downloads from the estradasecorredoiras blog. I made quite a lot of updates to it which I will email in to them this week.

I also got the blank reception from everyone I asked in Lugo. The only person who was helpful was the nice lady in the pilgrim office in Fonsagrada. But she also stressed that it's a strictly unofficial route. I get why - the part through the forest is unpopulated and there is no mobile signal. If you had a problem you might not get found for days. I would not recommend it to anyone alone, or in bad weather, unless they are a really independent walker and confident navigator (which your average peregrino is not).

If anyone wants any feedback, feel free to private message me.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
I walked Friol to Sobrado on Wednesday last week. The lady in the bar Suso in Meson got excited to see me too! She is a lovely lady. Unfortunately I could not try the Lugo to Friol section as it was 40 degrees C on Tuesday so I had to go by bus. Luckily Friol has a beautiful municipal swimming pool which was some consolation.

I was given the same info in the Pension Benigno as in the downloads from the estradasecorredoiras blog. I made quite a lot of updates to it which I will email in to them this week.

I also got the blank reception from everyone I asked in Lugo. The only person who was helpful was the nice lady in the pilgrim office in Fonsagrada. But she also stressed that it's a strictly unofficial route. I get why - the part through the forest is unpopulated and there is no mobile signal. If you had a problem you might not get found for days. I would not recommend it to anyone alone, or in bad weather, unless they are a really independent walker and confident navigator (which your average peregrino is not).

If anyone wants any feedback, feel free to private message me.
@notion900 Thanks for this update. I am delighted to hear you enjoyed the experience. Glad you found someone helpful in Fonsagrada. I can understand that the local xuntas and tourism offices may feel that they are putting their money into infrastructure on the main routes. But still....!!
I think the unofficial route-markers seem to do an excellent job on marking the route. I would love to be able to thank them.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I also got the blank reception from everyone I asked in Lugo. The only person who was helpful was the nice lady in the pilgrim office in Fonsagrada. But she also stressed that it's a strictly unofficial route. I get why - the part through the forest is unpopulated and there is no mobile signal. If you had a problem you might not get found for days. I would not recommend it to anyone alone, or in bad weather, unless they are a really independent walker and confident navigator (which your average peregrino is not).

If anyone wants any feedback, feel free to private message me.

I had planned to walk to Sobrado this year, but by the time I got to Ferreira I just didn't want to separate from the group I was walking with. So it will have to be another year. But I had gathered a lot of information on how to get there and didn't see any part that was far from "civilization". What I saw was a route that went very close to or on the side of the road. So you must have found something else -- can you describe where it went and how you found the trail? Did you have a GPS? Thanks!
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Hello Laurie,@peregrina2000 no it is very much NOT on the road, the way I went. Two lengthy sections, at the beginning of each day, starting in Lugo and then in Friol are along a river bank and a lot is along correiodoras (?sp) which would certainly not allow a car to pass. Obviously it is possible to walk all the way on the road, but it is by no means necessary and part of the attraction is that it is so much off the road. I will look out my wikilok tracks for you, but I can't do it right now. I would agree with @notion900, considerable stretches are quite isolated - see my comments at the very beginning of this thread. The "red and yellow" German book gives a good description and map, and it is remarkably well signed, but definitely IS a feeling of being far from civilization. The only similar bits I have done before were between Lourdes and SJPdP some years ago when I met very few people over six days, although there were larger places at the end of each day. And that was more along roads.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hello Laurie,@peregrina2000 no it is very much NOT on the road, the way I went. Two lengthy sections, at the beginning of each day, starting in Lugo and then in Friol are along a river bank and a lot is along correiodoras (?sp) which would certainly not allow a car to pass. Obviously it is possible to walk all the way on the road, but it is by no means necessary and part of the attraction is that it is so much off the road. I will look out my wikilok tracks for you, but I can't do it right now. I would agree with @notion900, considerable stretches are quite isolated - see my comments at the very beginning of this thread. The "red and yellow" German book gives a good description and map, and it is remarkably well signed, but definitely IS a feeling of being far from civilization. The only similar bits I have done before were between Lourdes and SJPdP some years ago when I met very few people over six days, although there were larger places at the end of each day. And that was more along roads.
Well, thanks very much for that news. I guess it's a good thing I didn't venture out to Sobrado this time since my "route" was pretty much along the road. I will keep an eye out for the GPS tracks, if you've posted them on wikiloc, I should be able to find them. Many thanks, Laurie
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
In answer to the above questions, Friol to Sobrado is in 3 main parts - Friol to around Laxe (mainly paths but I had to take a road detour due to recent forestry works), Laxe to the Norte (isolated, forest tracks, no mobile signal for several km), and once you are on the Norte, a boring walk down a roadside path to the Monastery. When people say it's 'a lot on the road', actually the crossover isn't, it's after you join the Norte where the tarmac sets in. Laxe to the Norte runs through an isolated forest enclosure to breed rare ponies which has a high electric fence around it, I think the location of the gate out may have been changed, which affects where you come out on the Norte (i.e. not via Foxo), and that will be reflected in my update notes to the blogger. There are also no markings after you enter the enclosure.

The green route marking I would describe as sparse, in general. You really need to get your eye in for the green arrows as they don't stand out. You could no way do it just on the arrows. I used printouts of the downloads I mention above, plus I had the pdfs of them on my phone so I could zoom in on the maps. I found the descriptions good. I also used the GPS on my phone to position-find when I got a bit lost, but the info from Google maps for the area is very limited. I had a Michelin map of Galicia in my bag but I didn't need it in the end. I did not have access to the German guide at all and have not seen it.

I managed OK, however I would say (without blowing my own trumpet) that others may find what I used wholly inadequate: I am a good navigator using all available cues, not just the roads, and I have a qualification in Countryside Management so in European rural areas I am super aware of details other people might not notice. I have an immediate sense of when I am getting lost and never have problems retracing my steps.

I walked on my own in very warm weather where mud was not a problem, but I could see it would be sometimes (30cm deep hardened ruts in places). If you got really lost, you could just walk to the nearest road and flag down a car within an hour or two. But if you were alone and hurt yourself on the forest section, you might not be found for a day or two. I can deal with that idea as I have tramped for 5 days alone in the bush in New Zealand, but others might be a bit freaked by it.

Regarding dogs, yes they are all running loose and some are big. I had to ask farmers to call dogs in about 3 times. The way to do it is to approach purposefully and then stop still if the dog is coming towards you barking and guarding its territory. Call out loudly and cheerily 'Hola hola, el perro por favor! El perro!' The owner will come out and call in the dog. Remember to thank them and wish them Good Day. It was fine.

I support the local advice that based on the current route, the green crossover is very much unofficial. However, it's totally possible to do a crossover by just following the very quiet tarmac roads in the area using a standard map. Just boring!
 
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xmsg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo biking (2015)
Hi
I have marked the path Lug0-Friol-Sobrado dos Monxes with the green arrows and I have upload the pdf guides. I am glad to read your experiences but I would like to make some observations. (Sorry for my bad English)

First of all, I am aware that some arrows may be hidden or unclear. In my blog, estradasecorredoiras, (@Castilians have left the links) and in some comment I explain the reasons. Last year I have asked to the mayor of Friol that the authorities are responsible for the maintenance and signposting of the route, but unsuccessfully. Now I want try it another time and I ask you any comment in my blog to convince him.

Don't worry @peregrina2000, the path is never as far from "civilization" as it may seem in some reviews. From Friol to Lugo, you are always less than 1 km of the road LU-232, and from Friol to Sobrado, less than 2 km of the road LU-233. And there are a lot of nearest local roads. It´s true sometimes there is no mobile signal, but in the most of the rout you can find it. In the blog you can fin the tracks for gps.
I have spoken with a lot of people who have done the route using the pdf or only following the green arrows.

I understand when @timr say "mud was quite an issue". In the blog and the pdf guides I speak about the difficulties to walk in winter or spring and I think you have walked in May. You say in Casa Benigno "gave me a printout of a Spanish guide (with a poor English machine translation)". The English guide you can download in my blog is written in a good English (with mistakes, sure. I appreciate any help :) and I have said in Casa Benigno don´t give more this Google Translator guides.

Despite the difficulties, a lot of people has said me, as @petro, "he two days on the green arrow way was one of the highlights of my camino".

Finally, @notion900, you say " There are also no markings after you enter the enclosure." I think you have not reached the right gate because there are two marks in the gate and in the pine tree in front of the gate there are several green arrows. You can send me your updates at xmsgrande@gmail.com
I had fun reading your last post. You was in Friol (my village) while I was in London (your town). You speak about a trail in New Zealand, Milford track, may be. I think is one of the most beautiful trails in the world and I want to do some day. Other of the most beautiful is Landmanalaugar, in Iceland. I have done 4 years ago..
I like to see the route Lugo - Friol - Sobrado dos Monxes in the same post than Milford and Landmanalaugar track :)

I wait your comments in estradasecorredoiras, please.

Bó camiño. Saúdos dende Friol.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
@xmsg Delighted for the opportunity to thank you for all your work. I am sure it is a labour of love. I wish it could be more recognised (on the one hand) but it is rather like a 'hidden gem' and *part* of the attraction is the lack of other walkers! I must find my gps track for day 2. I think I found clear markings when I went through gates of large enclosure (though obviously my track won't confirm that.) I enjoyed looking for the green arrows - sometimes rather difficult to pick out against a green stone or the bark of a tree! I found myself looking hard at some patches of lichen or moss wondering if they could possibly be a paint mark! I was sad that there was such 'passive opposition' to the path in Lugo from the tourist people. And yes I was aware from checking my phone now and then for GPS that I was never that far from a main road but there was a very isolated feel to the walk - a positive aspect.
Friol seemed a very fine little town. I arrived late on Sunday afternoon and left on Monday morning and so didn't have the chance to explore it much. - a pity.
I will add comments to your blog.
Once again sincere thanks for your terrific work.
Tim
 

petro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2008 April/May) (2011 May/June) (2014 May/June), Camino Primitivo (May 2016)
@xmsg Thank you for your post. I now know who to thank for those green arrows! I found that the route was well marked and enjoyed walking there. It is a delightful way. I walked with a German guy and with his guide book and the script that was given to us in Friol we got by just fine.
 

xmsg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo biking (2015)
@timr Thank you for your kind post. I can understand you say about the "isolated feel to the walk". I agree is a positive aspect, you can feel yor are lost in a bush in New Zealand, but you are a few minutes of the "civilization". And I have spoken with the responsibles of the pilgrim hostel and the tourism office in Lugo and I know the "passive opposition' to the path, sometimes "active opposition" (I have seen a placard next to a green arrow with the text "Don´t follow green arrows. It is not an oficial way to Santiago") ???

@petro Thank you and I am happy you have enjoyed in the way. Could you say me the title and author of the German guide about you speak? Several years ago I have spoken with a German guy in Friol who was writting a guide and he ask me about the green arrows. I don´t know if is the same guide..

José Manuel
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
Hi xmsg! Great to hear from the maker of the legendary green arrows, and thank you for making them! I loved doing the walk, and I loved your civilised and peaceful home town of Friol, where I spent a happy afternoon in the swimming pool. The lady at Casa Benigna was also very hospitable. I have indeed done the Milford Track, and all the other Great Walks of New Zealand. Which are very beautiful, but not as much in my heart as Spain and its many beauties and wonderful people.

I appreciate that the Green Way is not really isolated, when I say some people 'might be freaked', I mean the type of pilgrim who worries if there are not three bars and two albergues always in sight and no mobile signal or bag transfer.

I will send you an update on the trail by email. There were recent forestry works which might mean that the green arrows need checking in that place - I lost the trail and had to go round by the roads. Also I had a feeling that I may have gone out of the horse project enclosure by the wrong gate, but there was one place where it looked like a gate may have been removed and replaced by a new section of electric fence. I took the first gate I could on the right after this. It brought me out by the corral fences for rounding up the horses. Maybe I went wrong, but you will be able to see by my email.

I really support that this Green Way should be more widely known. You could ask Ivar to add the Green Way pdfs to the Resources Section on this Forum, if you want them to be more widely publicised. There is also a resources page on the British Confraternity of St James website, where they would probably be willing to host them.

It's annoying that the authorities in Lugo and Friol are not more helpful, but in the end the pilgrims want to go where they like, and if the information is there for them, they will go. The John Brierley book for the Camino Frances is in recent editions showing people that there are quieter alternative routes, which spread the economic benefits more fairly amongst the people of rural Spain. Here in the UK we have a long standing tradition of refusing to do as we are told when it comes to hiking in the countryside. When I was given no help in Lugo, it just made me want to do it more!

Viva el Camino Verde!

IMG_2215.jpg
 
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petro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2008 April/May) (2011 May/June) (2014 May/June), Camino Primitivo (May 2016)
@xmsg my German friend used the guide book that @timr mentioned in his post.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
I have been emailing with marvellous Jose @xmsg and this very day he has been out updating the route and painting the arrows!! He updated the blog downloads too. I am sure everyone will join me in appreciating what he is doing.

Do the Green Camino everyone!
 

Sirage

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
Great information. I should get to Lugo early October and intend to walk this way (if the wet season has not set in too severely :)) ).

Thanks xsmg, and all of you with these helpful comments. The roads less-travelled are my preference.
 
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