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LIVE from the Camino My not so evocative Invierno comments

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I am in Las Médulas, having walked yesterday up to Peñalba De Santiago from Ponferrada. It is an absolutely beautiful little spot with an ancient church, so we’ll worth a visit. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/last-minute-mistake—now-what.62919/

I continued today from Ponferrada to Las Médulas. I walked to Villavieja withnot one glimpse of the Cornatel castle—I kept shouting, I know you’re there behind the fog! It was closed when I got there, and I did go to the most beautiful bench and shared it with a Spanish family with two crying, pouting kids. That detracted a bit from the beauty 😀

I took Amancio’s recommended alternative from Borrenes, and it’s brilliant.


So great to arrive at the mirador de Orellan, enjoy the view from the top, and then walk down to town with no post-prandial hike needed! It’s at least two km from town up to the mirador, and IMO, it’s a crying shame not to see the site from up there. When I got to Borrenes, I wasn’t sure whether to give it a go without the GP tracks, and then lo and behold a track I had named “Amancio’s alternative” popped up. I know Amancio says you can do this easily without GPS tracks, but I could not have. Too many unmarked intersections on the ascent to the cutesy village of Orellan. So I highly recommend the alternative, but think you should have the GPS tracks.

I scribbled some notes for the guide, but what I would say in general about this first stage is that the marking is impeccable, so walking directions aren’t really needed. The camino has had a lot of good re-routing and no longer goes through towns alongside the N highway. That means you will miss the bars, stores, and farmacias, but it is much better walking.

Since @Theatregal and @VNwalking have given incredibly beautiful descriptions of this route, I will not even try. I will bring up the rear with the prosaic and mundane.

Except to say that the beauty and longevity of the chestnut tree leaves me slack-jawed. Life springing out of huge gnarled dead trunks. And the flowers have a pungent fragrance that is other worldly. I am so happy to be here.

Haven’t met any Invierno peregrinos yet, but I know they’re out there!
 

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Since @Theatregal and @VNwalking have given incredibly beautiful descriptions of this route, I will not even try. I will bring up the rear with the prosaic and mundane
Laurie, your photos are so SO gorgeous. And not evocative? Ha! I beg to differ. This makes me want to run back and walk the Invierno all over again. But if we keep raving like this, it'll be overrun...

And I was hoping the chestnut trees would be blooming for you. And they are!! ☺
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Laurie, your photos are so SO gorgeous. And not evocative? Ha! I beg to differ. This makes me want to run back and walk the Invierno all over again. But if we keep raving like this, it'll be overrun...

And I was hoping the chestnut trees would be blooming for you. And they are!! ☺
OMG, the chestnut trees. I am by no means a “nature nut” but those trees are like none I have ever seen.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
They are, they are.
Old and hollow and somehow still going strong.
After I got back I looked them up...there are 3000 year-old chestnut trees in Italy...in Spain the oldies are a mere 800 years old.
Edit. I was wrong 1000 years...
 
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alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
OMG, the chestnut trees. I am by no means a “nature nut” but those trees are like none I have ever seen.

Those chestnuts are so amazing. If you ever do the Invierno in the autumn, the colour of the leaves is almost the same as the russet of the soil left in the mine workings. I stayed with a very motherly old lady in the Casa Socorro guest house in As Médulas (as she called it). I never caught her name, but always think of her as Señora Castañas, as every surface of the house was covered in chestnuts drying, or chestnuts being brined, and she was netting up and peeling chestnuts as she made me my breakfast at 7am. I got the impression it was still quite a significant part of the household income, and she said the crop had only failed once in her lifetime, with a very late hard frost in, I think, the 60s.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Luckily, the heat wave is somewhat muted here in Galicia. At 7 pm it’s 32–definitely not cool but tolerable. I left Las Médulas (my nod to @Charrito ) at 6:30 just as the sun was coming up. The walk was really nice. I’m trying to pay attention to the amount of asphalt on this camino, and the first two days have been good in that regard. Today, virtually none (though now that I am wearing trail runners, my feet just don’t suffer on asphalt like they used to).

I met a lot of people out walking—especially coming into Sobradelo. Everyone says Buen Camino and most tell me how valiente I am (I know VN and Theatregal heard that a lot too). What a change from a few years ago when no one had even heard of the Invierno.

The Xunta has put in a few nicely situated picnic tables with views over the Sil River. Luckily they chose spots not looking down on the several large factories on the water.

All in all a day with lots of nice views, nice people, and a post-walking rest in the grass along the river, where all of Barco seems to come in early evening.

BTW, the marking could not be better. No need for GPS on the Invierno any more. 😊
 

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marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
Luckily, the heat wave is somewhat muted here in Galicia. At 7 pm it’s 32–definitely not cool but tolerable. I left Las Médulas (my nod to @Charrito ) at 6:30 just as the sun was coming up. The walk was really nice. I’m trying to pay attention to the amount of asphalt on this camino, and the first two days have been good in that regard. Today, virtually none (though now that I am wearing trail runners, my feet just don’t suffer on asphalt like they used to).

I met a lot of people out walking—especially coming into Sobradelo. Everyone says Buen Camino and most tell me how valiente I am (I know VN and Theatregal heard that a lot too). What a change from a few years ago when no one had even heard of the Invierno.

The Xunta has put in a few nicely situated picnic tables with views over the Sil River. Luckily they chose spots not looking down on the several large factories on the water.

All in all a day with lots of nice views, nice people, and a post-walking rest in the grass along the river, where all of Barco seems to come in early evening.

BTW, the marking could not be better. No need for GPS on the Invierno any more. 😊
Loving your posts Laurie - photos are gorgeous -wish there were more- also just finished reading VN's account and think I will do this one in Sept as Maggie has suggested - buen camino and be safeXXXX
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I decided that today’s heat warning (apparently temperatures are going down starting tomorrow) meant I should take the short stage to A Rua. No matter how you slice it, this is probably too short for most people. A better way to break it up might be Médulas to Sobradelo and Sobradelo to A Rua. Anyway, it is flat, usually along or near the river, sometimes pretty, others industrial.

I took a few notes for the guide, which I will write in here now while my mind is fresh.

The exit from Barco, as others have said, is along the river, unless you are going to the Albergue. A sign on the river makes it clear.

Shortly after you pass the sanitary plant, there is a mojon off to the right. If you were looking at the river you might miss it. It takes you out to a traffic circle, with a mojon hidden up and on the left. Keep straight and cross the tracks despite dire warning (mojon would be nice here). From here all the way into Vilamartin you are on a service road along a highway, but there is always a soft shoulder. Same as you walk along the river from Vilamartin to the dam and beyond to the intersection with the highway that takes you into a Rua.

With not much more than the river to accompany you, I enjoyed how it changed from noisy/white water to wide, slow and lazy and back again. And the walk was frequently punctuated by a waft of that chestnut flower smell I can’t describe but which always gets my attention and starts the “where’s the chestnut tree?” game.

A new looking sign for Pacio de Sil is further along the main road into town, so this might be a more direct route than the current one in the guide.

Since I got to town way too early, I decided to go to the river walk Charrito has described and I have never seen. You enter it by going under the tracks about 400 m beyond the train station. Lots of sports activities. The polideportivo is there and takes in pilgrims. Open Monday through Friday from 3-10 pm. On weekends call local police. 696 917 594. The river walk is called the Agullon and is 1km from town hall in the center is town.

There is one bar next to polideportivo and another one close to the pass under the train tracks. Both were closed. Pulpo only on Sunday.

The guy in the ayuntamiento told me work is going on to convert the old “teachers’ house” into an Albergue but no news on opening date. Anytime now, he said.

My detective work done, I am heading up to Pillaban where I think I have a room.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just learned that tonight and tomorrow night in A Rua a camino pub crawl will take place. Unfortunately, my hotel room is right over the terraza of the Pillaban bar. I was given my own credencial to take from bar to bar. After my 14th glass of wine I will get my very own Compostela and will be entered into a raffle for some cases of local wine.

All of this sounds like I will not have a very restful night.

Oh and did I mention there is a prize for the best pilgrim costume?
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Just learned that tonight and tomorrow night in A Rua a camino pub crawl will take place. Unfortunately, my hotel room is right over the terraza of the Pillaban bar. I was given my own credencial to take from bar to bar. After my 14th glass of wine I will get my very own Compostela and will be entered into a raffle for some cases of local wine.

All of this sounds like I will not have a very restful night.

Oh and did I mention there is a prize for the best pilgrim costume?
Perfect event for me and @Charrito :D :D :D
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
and did I mention there is a prize for the best pilgrim costume?
You would win, because it's a real pilgrom costume. Just don't wash it before the pub crawl. ;)
OMG, may you get some sleep.

Loving your descriptons and photos, Laurie.
So pleased the chestnuts are makjng the way extra sweet for you.

Those stages you mention (LM-Sobradelo-A Rua) did feel pretty balanced length-wise, and I was happy not to stay in O Barco...A Rua is a bit smaller, which I prefer.

(And if you happen to bump into Asun, please tell her that if it was she who gave me the special buen camino greeting from her car that morning a few weeks ago, muchas gracias. It's still with me.)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The bagpipes just made their way up here so I hope they are only doing one circuit. It was very nice but I would have enjoyed it more if I weren’t going to set out at 6 to avoid the heat.

In the absence of a CPAP, I have just downloaded a white noise app and am debating between “extreme rain pouring”, “hair dryer” and “stream water flowing”. Now I just have to hope it doesn’t drown out my alarm. 😲

And ps. I walked by Asun’s house a couple of times and saw no signs of life.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
My white noise app worked great. When I left at 6, there were still several people sitting in the bar and engaged in very intense conversation, but I had slept fine and hadn’t heard them.

Today was another 5***** day. So many gorgeous river views, some beautiful villages, and lots of people to chat with.

The two big guide changes are that the on-road kms from Alvaredos to Bendillo have largely gone off the road to a lovely forest track, and the second is that Casimiro is no longer an octogenarian, he told me he is 92. I saw a man walking towards me as I leveled out at the river before Montefurado. ?Es Ud. Casimiro? Yep! We chatted for ten minutes or so, and he invited me up to his house for a coffee, but being the pragmatic person I am, the looming mid-90s temperatures got the better of me.

But his message is loud and clear —if you walk the Invierno, go find him! In the short minutes we talked, he told me numerous stories, all of which he would love to tell to you.

I took lots of notes that I won’t type in here. But bottom line is that the marking and path-clearing are fenomenal.

Spending the night in Hotel As Vegas (or is it Las, @Charrito) in San Clodio. That will shave off a km or so from tomorrow’s walk to Monforte. Not trivial in this heat, though it did mean I had to forego a great meal in Quiroga at Azoza. Oh well, the food here is fine and I think the trade off was s good one. Plus I got to walk the 300 m off Camino see the 12th century church here!
 

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
What a gorgeous face this man has!
I'm sorry he was not out and about when I went by there. Your weather looks wonderful, in spite of the heat, and yes...this I think was one of my favorite days of this camino. As for Azoza...honestly, from a vegetarian's point of view it was just so-so: nothing so great as the rave reviews led me to think it would be. But tomorrow night you"ll be in Monforte, with lots of options. ☺
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
My white noise app worked great. When I left at 6, there were still several people sitting in the bar and engaged in very intense conversation, but I had slept fine and hadn’t heard them.

Today was another 5***** day. So many gorgeous river views, some beautiful villages, and lots of people to chat with.

The two big guide changes are that the on-road kms from Alvaredos to Bendillo have largely gone off the road to a lovely forest track, and the second is that Casimiro is no longer an octogenarian, he told me he is 92. I saw a man walking towards me as I leveled out at the river before Montefurado. ?Es Ud. Casimiro? Yep! We chatted for ten minutes or so, and he invited me up to his house for a coffee, but being the pragmatic person I am, the looming mid-90s temperatures got the better of me.

But his message is loud and clear —if you walk the Invierno, go find him! In the short minutes we talked, he told me numerous stories, all of which he would love to tell to you.

I took lots of notes that I won’t type in here. But bottom line is that the marking and path-clearing are fenomenal.

Spending the night in Hotel As Vegas (or is it Las, @Charrito) in San Clodio. That will shave off a km or so from tomorrow’s walk to Monforte. Not trivial in this heat, though it did mean I had to forego a great meal in Quiroga at Azoza. Oh well, the food here is fine and I think the trade off was s good one. Plus I got to walk the 300 m off Camino see the 12th century church here!
Lovely photos again and super account of your walk - what an honour to have met this lovely 92year young man - you are so lucky to have been able to share some chitchat with him - I am practicing my Spanish really hard to learn more vocabulary - gosh it is so difficult!! buen camino Laurie and enjoyXXX
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
My white noise app worked great. When I left at 6, there were still several people sitting in the bar and engaged in very intense conversation, but I had slept fine and hadn’t heard them.

Today was another 5***** day. So many gorgeous river views, some beautiful villages, and lots of people to chat with.

The two big guide changes are that the on-road kms from Alvaredos to Bendillo have largely gone off the road to a lovely forest track, and the second is that Casimiro is no longer an octogenarian, he told me he is 92. I saw a man walking towards me as I leveled out at the river before Montefurado. ?Es Ud. Casimiro? Yep! We chatted for ten minutes or so, and he invited me up to his house for a coffee, but being the pragmatic person I am, the looming mid-90s temperatures got the better of me.

But his message is loud and clear —if you walk the Invierno, go find him! In the short minutes we talked, he told me numerous stories, all of which he would love to tell to you.

I took lots of notes that I won’t type in here. But bottom line is that the marking and path-clearing are fenomenal.

Spending the night in Hotel As Vegas (or is it Las, @Charrito) in San Clodio. That will shave off a km or so from tomorrow’s walk to Monforte. Not trivial in this heat, though it did mean I had to forego a great meal in Quiroga at Azoza. Oh well, the food here is fine and I think the trade off was s good one. Plus I got to walk the 300 m off Camino see the 12th century church here!
Ah ha
Just found your thread Laurie
You are catching up quickly on us
I think I might do a thread on 2 old codgers on the Invierno
Today I really felt like a pilgrim trudging along in the boiling heat!!
See you tomorrow in Monteforte...a short one for us tomorrow
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013) San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
My white noise app worked great. When I left at 6, there were still several people sitting in the bar and engaged in very intense conversation, but I had slept fine and hadn’t heard them.

Today was another 5***** day. So many gorgeous river views, some beautiful villages, and lots of people to chat with.

The two big guide changes are that the on-road kms from Alvaredos to Bendillo have largely gone off the road to a lovely forest track, and the second is that Casimiro is no longer an octogenarian, he told me he is 92. I saw a man walking towards me as I leveled out at the river before Montefurado. ?Es Ud. Casimiro? Yep! We chatted for ten minutes or so, and he invited me up to his house for a coffee, but being the pragmatic person I am, the looming mid-90s temperatures got the better of me.

But his message is loud and clear —if you walk the Invierno, go find him! In the short minutes we talked, he told me numerous stories, all of which he would love to tell to you.

I took lots of notes that I won’t type in here. But bottom line is that the marking and path-clearing are fenomenal.

Spending the night in Hotel As Vegas (or is it Las, @Charrito) in San Clodio. That will shave off a km or so from tomorrow’s walk to Monforte. Not trivial in this heat, though it did mean I had to forego a great meal in Quiroga at Azoza. Oh well, the food here is fine and I think the trade off was s good one. Plus I got to walk the 300 m off Camino see the 12th century church here!
glad to see you got to sleep..
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
This is gorgeous .. bringing back memories of my Invierno last year .. lovely pics and comments. Buen camino. Carole.
.. and yes, the signage and local support is wonderful.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Turns out I didn’t really need to leave my hostal at 6 in the dark. Instead of sunny, mid-90s, I got cloudy and 70s. Not complaining mind you, but just a reminder that weather forecasting is not an exact science.

Lots of pine forests today, with an occasional stretch of old growth thrown in for its sheer beauty.

The dogs at Trampillo (right before Barxa de Lor) were lunging against their chains and barking/growling wildly. And there right next to them was the young farmer who was trying to calm them down. I tried to add to @Charrito’s comments —pero hombre, estos perros están aterrorizando a muchos peregrinos —and got the same shrug in response.

Shortly after Barxa I saw a turnoff for a path to Salcedo. This merits investigation since many pilgrims are going there (hotel) since the place in Pobra closed.

In Pobra de Brollon no progress has been made on the albergue. The group conversation that I started in the bar with my innocent question led to many guffaws and slapping of knees and shaking of heads. Right now the town puts up pilgrims in the rooms attached to the school where boarding students used to live (not the polideportivo as has been reported). But this is only viable when school is not in session. Private efforts to start a private albergue have been stymied.

Again another day with excellent marking.

The muddy wet stretch is still muddy and wet. Even after these few days of heat wave. I met my first peregrino walking right after that, and he had fallen and was covered in mud. Had I gone by a few minutes earlier, I would have found him lying there. He has met only two others, so I don’t know where this Invierno boom is.

My belief is that until there is a good albergue system, this route will not really take off. Even though there are some of us who are happy to stay in pensiones, the albergue is really the anchor from which all flows. And for whatever reason that seems to be very slow in coming.

But the piece de resistance was my meet-up in Monforte with @Annette london and hubby. Well worth missing the wine tour for!!
 

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Another round of glorious photos, and the gladness to read about your day! Funny, I completely forgotten about those dogs. I vaguely remember telling them to chill, but of course they didn't.
And the mud-man! :eek:
I was praying that that would not be my fate, and was really grateful for the stepping stones, and mi bastones!

He has met only two others, so I don’t know where this Invierno boom is.
I had a different experience, meeting people every day, as many as 9 and as few as 1. But every day it was someone. And for a while there were 4 of us in sync until they went ahead after Monforte.
I wondered if maybe we were a wave, but after Monforte I fell in pace with others, so I thought not. The blessing of the Invierno for me was occasionally seeing prople at night but being able to walk alone during the day.

The group conversation that I started in the bar with my innocent question led to many guffaws and slapping of knees and shaking of heads...Private efforts to start a private albergue have been stymied.
So what seems to be the hang-up there, Laurie? Is it permits/licensing, or something else?

So great to see all of you and @Annette london together! Monforte seems to be the Camino Forum meet up place on the Invierno. ☺
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
What a gorgeous face this man has!
I'm sorry he was not out and about when I went by there. Your weather looks wonderful, in spite of the heat, and yes...this I think was one of my favorite days of this camino. As for Azoza...honestly, from a vegetarian's point of view it was just so-so: nothing so great as the rave reviews led me to think it would be. But tomorrow night you"ll be in Monforte, with lots of options. ☺
Anyone who is going to take the “train option” from Montefurado back to ARua should heed Casimiro’s heartfelt invitation and go see him. His house is very close to the train station. As I remember it, most people will have a lot of time there waiting for the train, and I can tell you that Casimiro would love the company.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
How could it not be a great day when you find a lost credencial?! I’m still smiling. :)

I have lots of notes for the guide’s revisions, but the marking is so excellent, a lot of the revisions will simply be to delete complicated walking instructions.

As I described in my note on VN’s loop, I think that a perfect way to walk this stage is to walk from Monforte to the turn-off for Torre Vilariño and then rather than check in, add the 6 km loop to the oxbow bend in the Miño, and check in here still plenty early because the total comes to about 24. They serve lunch till 4, so no rush.

This is one stage where it’s hard to find a soft shoulder for the kms on the roads. But the mojones now take you off road a few more kms than they used to, and the path from Piñeiro to Campo Grande is gorgeous.

The loop VN did gets you to two small Romanesque churches (though the one at Cova struck me as unusually tall) and the gorgeous views of the river from near the meson. It is really special and well worth it. You’ll still have all afternoon to lounge around on the lovely grounds of Torre Vilariño!
 

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marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
How could it not be a great day when you find a lost credencial?! I’m still smiling. :)

I have lots of notes for the guide’s revisions, but the marking is so excellent, a lot of the revisions will simply be to delete complicated walking instructions.

As I described in my note on VN’s loop, I think that a perfect way to walk this stage is to walk from Monforte to the turn-off for Torre Vilariño and then rather than check in, add the 6 km loop to the oxbow bend in the Miño, and check in here still plenty early because the total comes to about 24. They serve lunch till 4, so no rush.

This is one stage where it’s hard to find a soft shoulder for the kms on the roads. But the mojones now take you off road a few more kms than they used to, and the path from Piñeiro to Campo Grande is gorgeous.

The loop VN did gets you to two small Romanesque churches (though the one at Cova struck me as unusually tall) and the gorgeous views of the river from near the meson. It is really special and well worth it. You’ll still have all afternoon to lounge around on the lovely grounds of Torre Vilariño!
Hi nLaurie - are we allowed to ask where you found the missing credential!!?XX
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Turns out I didn’t really need to leave my hostal at 6 in the dark. Instead of sunny, mid-90s, I got cloudy and 70s. Not complaining mind you, but just a reminder that weather forecasting is not an exact science.

Lots of pine forests today, with an occasional stretch of old growth thrown in for its sheer beauty.

The dogs at Trampillo (right before Barxa de Lor) were lunging against their chains and barking/growling wildly. And there right next to them was the young farmer who was trying to calm them down. I tried to add to @Charrito’s comments —pero hombre, estos perros están aterrorizando a muchos peregrinos —and got the same shrug in response.

Shortly after Barxa I saw a turnoff for a path to Salcedo. This merits investigation since many pilgrims are going there (hotel) since the place in Pobra closed.

In Pobra de Brollon no progress has been made on the albergue. The group conversation that I started in the bar with my innocent question led to many guffaws and slapping of knees and shaking of heads. Right now the town puts up pilgrims in the rooms attached to the school where boarding students used to live (not the polideportivo as has been reported). But this is only viable when school is not in session. Private efforts to start a private albergue have been stymied.

Again another day with excellent marking.

The muddy wet stretch is still muddy and wet. Even after these few days of heat wave. I met my first peregrino walking right after that, and he had fallen and was covered in mud. Had I gone by a few minutes earlier, I would have found him lying there. He has met only two others, so I don’t know where this Invierno boom is.

My belief is that until there is a good albergue system, this route will not really take off. Even though there are some of us who are happy to stay in pensiones, the albergue is really the anchor from which all flows. And for whatever reason that seems to be very slow in coming.

But the piece de resistance was my meet-up in Monforte with @Annette london and hubby. Well worth missing the wine tour for!!
Thank you so much for your information on the albergue in Pobra de Brollon. I had planned on staying there, in spite of uncertainty as to whether it would be available. Now, I know that it will not, as school will be in session when I pass through in late October/early November. I am planning on staying in Pension Pacita instead. For a couple of days later, I will book Hotel O Ruso in Escairon, as @alansykes , who walked the route last November, said that it was open then when Torre Vilarino was shut. Planning for the Invierno is indeed quite complex, at least for those of us who prefer not to walk 35 km days. I hope that no other accommodation relevant to my camino plans closes between now and autumn. I am very grateful to you and to all previous pilgrims who keep the information up to date.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi nLaurie - are we allowed to ask where you found the missing credential!!?XX
I just asked when I checked into the casa rural if they had found a credencial recently, maybe in room 7. They had it right there in their desk. This will make me smile for a long time, it was just a great moment. At first the two young women looked at me like I was crazy, but then there were hugs all around and they seemed genuinely happy.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you so much for your information on the albergue in Pobra de Brollon. I had planned on staying there, in spite of uncertainty as to whether it would be available. Now, I know that it will not, as school will be in session when I pass through in late October/early November. I am planning on staying in Pension Pacita instead. For a couple of days later, I will book Hotel O Ruso in Escairon, as @alansykes , who walked the route last November, said that it was open then when Torre Vilarino was shut. Planning for the Invierno is indeed quite complex, at least for those of us who prefer not to walk 35 km days. I hope that no other accommodation relevant to my camino plans closes between now and autumn. I am very grateful to you and to all previous pilgrims who keep the information up to date.
Yes I confirmed with the owners last night that they do in fact close in November. But she said they usually open back up in December, so maybe they get a lot of holiday traffic. As they are becoming more attuned to pilgrim traffic, it might be worth a WhatsApp later in the year to see what they’re thinking. They are also thinking about a possible albergue.
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
I just asked when I checked into the casa rural if they had found a credencial recently, maybe in room 7. They had it right there in their desk. This will make me smile for a long time, it was just a great moment. At first the two young women looked at me like I was crazy, but then there were hugs all around and they seemed genuinely happy.
So so wonderful Laurie!! When I asked the young woman, she said she’d check and then came back and said no, they hadn’t found it. I really did have a feeling the credential would come back to @VNwalking !!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
They are also thinking about a possible albergue.
Ah, wonderful. This would be just the perfect place!
I really did have a feeling the credential would come back to @VNwalking !!
I didn't. Especially when the negatives came back from Torre Vilariño and you, Caryn.
Gremlins, and their cute little practical jokes....
🤭
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Sitting in meson Lucus in Chantada. I would give it a 6/10. Nothing like when the grandparents were running it, but I wish them a very happy retirement. And it’s fine.

Shortest day so far, I bet, but that allowed me a late start (after two cups of coffee with @c clearly’s electric coil.

And it meant I could sit and enjoy Diomondi and those cow heads —oh those cow heads.

The walk down to Belesar is a bit punishing but my knees were fine. The excitement over walking on a Roman Road wears off quickly on these descents, especially since two thousand years of wear and tear have turned what was once a road into a rocky challenge course. But arriving above Belesar is one of those wow moments. Beautiful views in all directions. And since all descents have their corresponding ascents, there’s no surprise when you cross the bridge.

Views from the meson are stunning and the people very nice. But no I don’t want a glass of wine mid-morning, thank you very much.

Near the bridge at Belesar I “met” two other peregrinos. Both totally uninterested in any social interaction, even though we are all in roughly the same demographic (old). I said something to each one when I crossed with them but they didn’t really even respond. Not even a buenos días. Weird. Glad I reserved a private room in Carpinteras tomorrow.

I’m here finishing up a so-so menu del día in Lucus. Certainly not what it was, but it’s fine.

This afternoon I will meet up with @Ribeirasacra, who has closed their beautiful casa rural. Then tomorrow on to Rodeiro and the final days. Can’t believe it. It always goes way too quickly.
 

Attachments

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
Sitting in meson Lucus in Chantada. I would give it a 6/10. Nothing like when the grandparents were running it, but I wish them a very happy retirement. And it’s fine.

Shortest day so far, I bet, but that allowed me a late start (after two cups of coffee with @c clearly’s electric coil.

And it meant I could sit and enjoy Diomondi and those cow heads —oh those cow heads.

The walk down to Belesar is a bit punishing but my knees were fine. The excitement over walking on a Roman Road wears off quickly on these descents, especially since two thousand years of wear and tear have turned what was once a road into a rocky challenge course. But arriving above Belesar is one of those wow moments. Beautiful views in all directions. And since all descents have their corresponding ascents, there’s no surprise when you cross the bridge.

Views from the meson are stunning and the people very nice. But no I don’t want a glass of wine mid-morning, thank you very much.

Near the bridge at Belesar I “met” two other peregrinos. Both totally uninterested in any social interaction, even though we are all in roughly the same demographic (old). I said something to each one when I crossed with them but they didn’t really even respond. Not even a buenos días. Weird. Glad I reserved a private room in Carpinteras tomorrow.

I’m here finishing up a so-so menu del día in Lucus. Certainly not what it was, but it’s fine.

This afternoon I will meet up with @Ribeirasacra, who has closed their beautiful casa rural. Then tomorrow on to Rodeiro and the final days. Can’t believe it. It always goes way too quickly.
Oh Laurie how could someone not want to at least say buenos dias to you - a wise pilgrim once said to me many years ago about two nasty hospitaleras "sometimes people are put across our path to teach us how not to behave" - mmm this rings true here. Love your posts and photos - buen camino XX
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Their loss! Oh, to have shared this glorious walking day with you, Laurie...especially admirindg Diamondi. We could have had a long discussion about the relative merits of sweet cows and nasty wolves. ;)
And then you'd have beat me by a mile going up that hill!
Was the bar not open?
Can’t believe it. It always goes way too quickly.
Yeah.
We commiserate, Laurie. May you happily savor these delicious postre days.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
What a treat to meet up yesterday afternoon with Mr. and Mrs. @Ribeirasacra. Such good memories of their casa rural.

Great day walking today, though it’s getting a little hotter. Chantada to Rodeiro ticks all the boxes, though none of it fits in the “spectacular” category. You walk through some nice villages (love those petos de ánimas), a bit of elevation gain, and the lovely views at the top. I did think those 6 km alongside the windmills were quite the slog on wide gravel roads. When you get to the highway junction and the camino turns down to Pazo de Camba, the evil hand of the Xunta and its earthmovers are apparent. There has been a lot of trail “improvement,” turning little country paths into vehicle-appropriate graded roads. Again after the Pazo, more of the same. It’s a shame, but it’s still a pretty walk.

I have taken more notes and will need VN’s expert map skills to help me figure out the various shortcuts. I met an Australian who took a bus from Sarria to Monforte and said he literally cried with joy when he started walking and saw no one. I, on the other hand, almost cried with joy when I met him.

The Hostal Carpinteras in Rodeiro has hopefully scored a huge success with their new albergue. It’s really nice. The owner told me someone from Chantada has been there a few times and is likely to open one too. The municipal initiative is just in paralysis, so maybe these private ventures can get the ball rolling.

Three more days walking, and I’ll be back in the Midwest US one week from today.
 

Attachments

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
When you get to the highway junction and the camino turns down to Pazo de Camba, the evil hand of the Xunta and its earthmovers are apparent. There has been a lot of trail “improvement,” turning little country paths into vehicle-appropriate graded roads. Again after the Pazo, more of the same. It’s a shame, but it’s still a pretty walk.
Maybe ot'z a general spruce-up?
They were also working on nearby roads when I walked by.
Tomorrow you will see the same changes too, I'm guessing.
How did you like the mojon on steriods?
;)
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
The albergue in Rodeiro looked great!
It’s a pity for future pilgrims that @Ribeirasacra has closed down their Casa Rural. Really enjoyed staying there last May.
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
What a treat to meet up yesterday afternoon with Mr. and Mrs. @Ribeirasacra. Such good memories of their casa rural.

Great day walking today, though it’s getting a little hotter. Chantada to Rodeiro ticks all the boxes, though none of it fits in the “spectacular” category. You walk through some nice villages (love those petos de ánimas), a bit of elevation gain, and the lovely views at the top. I did think those 6 km alongside the windmills were quite the slog on wide gravel roads. When you get to the highway junction and the camino turns down to Pazo de Camba, the evil hand of the Xunta and its earthmovers are apparent. There has been a lot of trail “improvement,” turning little country paths into vehicle-appropriate graded roads. Again after the Pazo, more of the same. It’s a shame, but it’s still a pretty walk.

I have taken more notes and will need VN’s expert map skills to help me figure out the various shortcuts. I met an Australian who took a bus from Sarria to Monforte and said he literally cried with joy when he started walking and saw no one. I, on the other hand, almost cried with joy when I met him.

The Hostal Carpinteras in Rodeiro has hopefully scored a huge success with their new albergue. It’s really nice. The owner told me someone from Chantada has been there a few times and is likely to open one too. The municipal initiative is just in paralysis, so maybe these private ventures can get the ball rolling.

Three more days walking, and I’ll be back in the Midwest US one week from today.
Loved your post again - had a good chuckle about meeting a peregrino - those would have my sentiments exactly - if you say it was a slog alongside the windmills then it must have really been one - enjoy your last few days and don't think about next week - stay in the moment!!!XX
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I’ve heard about a lot of peregrinos who just walk along the highway into Lalín, and, IMHO, that’s a big mistake. The off-road route has lots of non-asphalt stretches (although those earth movers and rock-layers have been working fast and furious since I was last through—WHAT are you doing???).

Lots of dairy farms, small hamlets, undulating terrain, it’s a very pleasant walk. The ancient church in Lalín de arriba is “en obras.” They are digging up an area outside the church, maybe they are looking for older construction, graves, who knows.

The river walk in Lalin is so wonderful. Rather than sit in an in-town cafe with a sugar drink, I followed @davebugg’s advice and had a lot of water from my bottle while sitting on a bench in the shade right next to the river. Shoes off, of course.

Since there wasn’t much elevation gain on this stage, I had plenty of time to stop and talk —with some women bringing their cows out to graze, one with her goats, and one tending her amazing vegetable garden. I love these interactions, they always make me feel more like a part of humanity.

I have passed by the Pazo de Bendoiro on many Caminos (lots of the Caminos I walk merge here for the last two days), and this time I decided to carpe diem and stay here. Really beautiful, lots of gardens with benches to lollygag around. It’s a 17th century estate with a decent restaurant and sheets that feel like satin in the bed. Feeling a bit decadent but at one with the universe.
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
What a treat to meet up yesterday afternoon with Mr. and Mrs. @Ribeirasacra. Such good memories of their casa rural.

Great day walking today, though it’s getting a little hotter. Chantada to Rodeiro ticks all the boxes, though none of it fits in the “spectacular” category. You walk through some nice villages (love those petos de ánimas), a bit of elevation gain, and the lovely views at the top. I did think those 6 km alongside the windmills were quite the slog on wide gravel roads. When you get to the highway junction and the camino turns down to Pazo de Camba, the evil hand of the Xunta and its earthmovers are apparent. There has been a lot of trail “improvement,” turning little country paths into vehicle-appropriate graded roads. Again after the Pazo, more of the same. It’s a shame, but it’s still a pretty walk.

I have taken more notes and will need VN’s expert map skills to help me figure out the various shortcuts. I met an Australian who took a bus from Sarria to Monforte and said he literally cried with joy when he started walking and saw no one. I, on the other hand, almost cried with joy when I met him.

The Hostal Carpinteras in Rodeiro has hopefully scored a huge success with their new albergue. It’s really nice. The owner told me someone from Chantada has been there a few times and is likely to open one too. The municipal initiative is just in paralysis, so maybe these private ventures can get the ball rolling.

Three more days walking, and I’ll be back in the Midwest US one week from today.
Interesting that they couldn't finish roadworks after Pazo da Camba in 5 years. In 2014 there were also deviations from Camino because of them ;)

For me the "slog" along the windmills was one of the nicest because of the views back but I noticed that almost all others didn't like it :D

And that albergue in As Carpinteiras really looks nice and cozy. I guess that with this addition to their usual business the owners really jumped much ahead of O Guerra.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Interesting that they couldn't finish roadworks after Pazo da Camba in 5 years. In 2014 there were also deviations from Camino because of them ;)

For me the "slog" along the windmills was one of the nicest because of the views back but I noticed that almost all others didn't like it :D

And that albergue in As Carpinteiras really looks nice and cozy. I guess that with this addition to their usual business the owners really jumped much ahead of O Guerra.
Sadly, O’Guerra has closed their restaurant. The food there was much better than in Carpinteras. O’Guerra still have their apartments available for peregrinos but when I called, one of them had a medical appt. in Santiago. She said she would find a way to get me the keys if I couldn’t find anyplace else to stay, but Carpinteras was available.
I think all pilgrim traffic will merge over to Carpinteras, especially with the Albergue.
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
Sadly, O’Guerra has closed their restaurant. The food there was much better than in Carpinteras. O’Guerra still have their apartments available for peregrinos but when I called, one of them had a medical appt. in Santiago. She said she would find a way to get me the keys if I couldn’t find anyplace else to stay, but Carpinteras was available.
I think all pilgrim traffic will merge over to Carpinteras, especially with the Albergue.
That is a real pity as the O’Guerra rooms and the especially the restaurant was great. I recorded in my blog at the time that 'Excellent meal in O Guerra with the best ever tarta Di Santiago I've had - home made. 10 euros for as much as you want to eat and drink’.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
In Santiago. Good walking. Good way to wind down, one night in Ponte Ulla with @Annette london and Charlie, and the today’s walk into town. I think this entrance into Santiago is one of the nicest, but nothing can top the walk into Obradoiro on the Francés through the arches. As luck would have it, I ran into the only other Peregrina I met on the Invierno and then into @Ann in the plaza. All day tomorrow to enjoy Santiago!
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
In Santiago. Good walking. Good way to wind down, one night in Ponte Ulla with @Annette london and Charlie, and the today’s walk into town. I think this entrance into Santiago is one of the nicest, but nothing can top the walk into Obradoiro on the Francés through the arches. As luck would have it, I ran into the only other Peregrina I met on the Invierno and then into @Ann in the plaza. All day tomorrow to enjoy Santiago!
Congratulations!!
Thanks for taking us back to the trail, and of course for the guide that leads us all!!
MaryEllen
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Heartfelt congratulations! What a walk.
💖
May you have a wonderful evening and day tomorrow in Santiago! Very well deserved.
It makes me happy, thinking of you there.
Abrazos, Laurie...
 

Oppis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -15, VdlP -15, Sanabres-16. CP -17, Primitivo-17, Mozarabe-18, Norte-18, Sureste-19
Congratulations Laurie. Thaks for all your posts. Have bookmarked them. We'll follow your steps one day. A&K
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
In Santiago. Good walking. Good way to wind down, one night in Ponte Ulla with @Annette london and Charlie, and the today’s walk into town. I think this entrance into Santiago is one of the nicest, but nothing can top the walk into Obradoiro on the Francés through the arches. As luck would have it, I ran into the only other Peregrina I met on the Invierno and then into @Ann in the plaza. All day tomorrow to enjoy Santiago!
Well done Laurie - thanks for sharing your wonderful camino with us - loved your photos and so nice to see you again. Do hope we can meet up again some time - maybe 2020 - safe travels home with all your wonderful memories - much love XXX
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well done Laurie - thanks for sharing your wonderful camino with us - loved your photos and so nice to see you again. Do hope we can meet up again some time - maybe 2020 - safe travels home with all your wonderful memories - much love XXX
So stay tuned, Marilyn. I am hoping to do a lot of the revisions for next year’s guide in the next few months while it is still fresh in my mind. That way you and @Albertagirl will have a 2019 1/2 guide, for your fall walks!
 

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