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Newbie -help create my itinarary please?

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Riana

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Invierno " 2019"
My 16year old son and I will be walking the Camino in Sept/Oct. I would love to walk Invierno and possibly parts of Frances. We have 9 days from Logroño to Compostela. The idea was to walk some and to bus some. We committed to walk at least 125km but this is our first hiking trail ever so we are praying for the best. ( advice on training also welcome ;-) )

Please help me decide which parts are better off being bussed. I thought of going via Burgess , Leon and on to Ponferada. That will mean we miss o'Cebreiro which sounded nice in what I read. Someone suggested riding up to o Cebreiro in horseback and down on a bicycle. I liked that.

I also noticed closer to Compostela there is a day on Invierno you walk through an industrial area. I would rather skip that in favour of walking a rural area. Leaving Logroño on 27 Sept. Have to fly out from Compostela 5 Oct.

Looking forward to your advice

Riana
South Africa
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
As far as the Invierno is concerned, you can take the train from Leon to Monforte de Lemos and wslk from there. You'd miss the stunning first part, but you simply don't have time to do the whole thing, unless you are fleet of foot.
If you want a taste of the camino, walk a day between Logroño and Najera, bus to Burgos, walk to Fromista and get the train from there to Ponferrada.
I also noticed closer to Compostela there is a day on Invierno you walk through an industrial area
It's short, painless, and unavoidable. On the camino, as in life, there are ugly bits. Learn to accept the entire road, and all it holds.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
If you're planning to experience the Camino and you would like to receive a Compostela in Santiago, you need to walk at least the last 100km of an official route (or cycle the last 200km). For the invierno, that means starting in Chantada:

That will take you perhaps four or five days. You could combine it with a touristic visit to Burgos or Leon, but travel to and from those cities will eat up a day or two of your precious time in Spain.
I recommend clearly distinguishing between the tourism part of your trip (taking convenient buses and trains, staying in private hotels) and the part where you "do the Camino" (walking or cycling, staying in pilgrim hostels). Mashing them together will give you a subpar tourist experience and no insight into what the Camino is about.
 

MichaelF4

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal 2017
Camino Frances 2018
I don't think the Invierno route is a good choice for inexperienced walkers. There are parts with little to no services and some difficult elevation changes. Walk a week on the Frances or Portuguese.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I don't think the Invierno route is a good choice for inexperienced walkers. There are parts with little to no services and some difficult elevation changes. Walk a week on the Frances or Portuguese.
I respetfully beg to differ, Michael. Plenty of first-time walkers navigated the Francés just fine before it became so easy as it is now. Some people just prefer quiet - and those stages where there are no bars every 4 ir 5K are a balm, rather than a challenge.

And the hills on the Invierno aren't any harder than what's on the Francés. This camino has an undeserved reputation as being super-hard - those messages often being passed along by people who haven't walked it. Not to be put off...it's a beauty, and yes, a quiet one. But if you're tiring of the Francés conga line, this way is just the ticket.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I recommend clearly distinguishing between the tourism part of your trip (taking convenient buses and trains, staying in private hotels) and the part where you "do the Camino" (walking or cycling, staying in pilgrim hostels). Mashing them together will give you a subpar tourist experience and no insight into what the Camino is about.
I absolutely agree with this. While the Camino can be considered a series of day hikes, when done as a continuous walk, it is definitely more than the sum of its parts.
 

Riana

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Invierno " 2019"
I respetfully beg to differ, Michael. Plenty of first-time walkers navigated the Francés just fine before it became so easy as it is now. Some people just prefer quiet - and those stages where there are no bars every 4 ir 5K are a balm, rather than a challenge.

And the hills on the Invierno aren't any harder than what's on the Francés. This camino has an undeserved reputation as being super-hard - those messages often being passed along by people who haven't walked it. Not to be put off...it's a beauty, and yes, a quiet one. But if you're tiring of the Francés conga line, this way is just the ticket.
Thank you for the advice. We are from a rural area and that is exactly why we chose this route. We want a quiet al be it challenging walk away from the maddening crowd. Not bothered too much with services. Live against a mountain on a farm in Africa so will be o.k with the ups and downs too ( I think). Really appreciate the input
 

Riana

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Invierno " 2019"
If you're planning to experience the Camino and you would like to receive a Compostela in Santiago, you need to walk at least the last 100km of an official route (or cycle the last 200km). For the invierno, that means starting in Chantada:

That will take you perhaps four or five days. You could combine it with a touristic visit to Burgos or Leon, but travel to and from those cities will eat up a day or two of your precious time in Spain.
I recommend clearly distinguishing between the tourism part of your trip (taking convenient buses and trains, staying in private hotels) and the part where you "do the Camino" (walking or cycling, staying in pilgrim hostels). Mashing them together will give you a subpar tourist experience and no insight into what the Camino is about.
Thank you. Making changes as per your suggestion
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I don't think the Invierno route is a good choice for inexperienced walkers. There are parts with little to no services and some difficult elevation changes. Walk a week on the Frances or Portuguese.
I don’t mean to pile on here, but IMO the Invierno is perfectly doable for a first timer, especially for someone who would like to avoid the crowds and still get a “camino feeling”. Not exactly sure how to describe that, but I know it when I feel it. The markings are way beyond excellent, and though services are spotty on some stages, I just always carry some fruit, nuts, and yoghurt and I have never had a problem. People in the villages will always happily fill your water bottle if you run out. The elevation gain profiles do not suggest that its elevation gain is extreme in any way.

For the OP, though, I agree with those who have said that with 9 walking days and starting in Logroño, the Invierno might not make sense. Unless you start s few days in, but IMO that would be a shame.

I would take a look at all the Caminos gronze.com lists and count back 9 days and see if anything catches your attention. VDLP/Sanabres comes to mind, too.
 

MichaelF4

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal 2017
Camino Frances 2018
I respetfully beg to differ, Michael. Plenty of first-time walkers navigated the Francés just fine before it became so easy as it is now. Some people just prefer quiet - and those stages where there are no bars every 4 ir 5K are a balm, rather than a challenge.

And the hills on the Invierno aren't any harder than what's on the Francés. This camino has an undeserved reputation as being super-hard - those messages often being passed along by people who haven't walked it. Not to be put off...it's a beauty, and yes, a quiet one. But if you're tiring of the Francés conga line, this way is just the ticket.
Having just walked the Invierno I disagree. It is beautiful is places and very quiet but a simple look at the maps and elevation charts on Gronze show the difficulty of planning and walking on this Screenshot_20190626-150128_Strava.jpgroute.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Having just walked the Invierno I disagree. It is beautiful is places and very quiet but a simple look at the maps and elevation charts on Gronze show the difficulty of planning and walking on this View attachment 61558route.
I think it’s very important for people to know what the terrain is like on the Camino they are planning to walk. But being a newbie on the Camino has nothing to do with elevation gain. It’s your fitness level that will tell you whether you can reasonably expect to enjoy the elevation profile of any particular Camino. On the Primitivo, for example, I’ve met many first-timers who were completely fine, even though many on this forum say it’s a very tough Camino. And though I only met one pilgrim other than @Annette london and hubby on my most recent Invierno, he was a total newcomer to the camino. And he was also fine.

I’m not trying to push anyone to the Invierno, just trying to emphasize that the challenges it presents, IMO, are not enormous. And the OP says she knows there are few services, and says she’s used to mountains. I think she has her bases covered if that’s the camino she is drawn to.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Having just walked the Invierno I disagree. It is beautiful is places and very quiet but a simple look at the maps and elevation charts on Gronze show the difficulty of planning and walking on this View attachment 61558route.

From my viewpoint, the charts are compressed, which gives them an extremely exaggerated appearance to their elevation profile. Widen out that profile to its proper scale, and the illustrated profile is hardly so dramatic.

Additionally, you are talking about elevation gains and losses over many kilometers. For example, the chart showing the steepest elevation gain of nearly 500 meters over a length of about 4 kilometers. That is equivalent to about a 12% grade, which is far less steep than the average grade going up to Orisson from SJPdP, which is over twice the distance in length.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
Hi Riana,
I thought I would chime in with my thoughts. The words that stand out for me are '9 days' and looking at your dates you actually have 8 assuming you fly in the day before you plan leaving from Logroño, if not that is 7 free days and 2 days to travel and walk.....
The invierno can absolutely be done as a first camino, my son (17) and I walked it in 9 days but it included two almost three 35km days but I wouldn't do it again like that, since you are in Logroño to start there is no way to do it all and I can not think of any day I would want to miss on the invierno.....even if you don't walk every day you still need the days to get from one place to another I agree with others above that to experience the Camino it is the day after day of dedication to the walk.
You mention you want to walk 125km, taking buses trains and riding horses and bikes and that it is your first hike.... This is a lot to fit into 9 days .... I would take the advice from above and truly separate the tourism and the walking, decide what time you want to devote to each.
You could tour from Logroño to wherever you want with busses and or trains and then devote the last 4-5 days to walk to Santiago, any 100-125km out of santiago walked day after day should give you the Camino feeling.
Final thought, less is more, what I remember most about my 3 week euro rail trip during college are the train stations........and they all look the same. Good luck!!!
Buen camino
MaryEllen
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Having just walked the Invierno I disagree. It is beautiful is places and very quiet but a simple look at the maps and elevation charts on Gronze show the difficulty of planning and walking on this
I just walked it solo, Michael, as an 60-something not very fit woman. I did not find it particularly arduous. It was certainly challenging at times, but not dramatically so. Those compressed elevation profiles had scared me for years, unnecessarily.
And planning? There's nothing so hard about that. I didn't do much planning, beyond consulting the guide published here, and setting my tentative sights for the next day. I walked spontaneously without bookings, except in one place.
just trying to emphasize that the challenges it presents, IMO, are not enormous. And the OP says she knows there are few services, and says she’s used to mountains. I think she has her bases covered if that’s the camino she is drawn to.
Amen.
 
Last edited:

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
I respetfully beg to differ, Michael. Plenty of first-time walkers navigated the Francés just fine before it became so easy as it is now. Some people just prefer quiet - and those stages where there are no bars every 4 ir 5K are a balm, rather than a challenge.

And the hills on the Invierno aren't any harder than what's on the Francés. This camino has an undeserved reputation as being super-hard - those messages often being passed along by people who haven't walked it. Not to be put off...it's a beauty, and yes, a quiet one. But if you're tiring of the Francés conga line, this way is just the ticket.
I must disagree with that. I walked the Invierno 2 years ago after the Sureste starting in Alicante. I like to walk 35 to 40 kms a day and this is my blog post from the first day on the Invierno - Ponferrada to Puente de Domingo Florez 35kms - was 'Route was easy to follow. That said it was a tough day, the tough bit was the ups and downs. Given how long I've been walking this time I am fairly fit and like 40 plus days. Had to go up 300m and down again twice, plus another climb up of 300m and then down 400m and that climb down was long and hard. Would hate to do it in the wet, but more importantly, I would hate to try it without a good few days ( or weeks) on the Camino first!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
There is an easy solution to that, @MikeJS - don't walk so far. ;)
The stage you describe would be brutal. But that's because it's an especially long stage, not because the Invierno is especially hard. Most people stop long before that, quite happily.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
.
There is an easy solution to that, @MikeJS - don't walk so far. ;)
The stage you describe would be brutal. But that's because it's an especially long stage, not because the Invierno is especially hard. Most people stop long before that, quite happily.
I did exactly the same on my first Invierno: all the way from Ponferrada to Puente de Domingo Flórez. There was nothing open at all, not even my Café Bar Ronda in Santalla. It was too early for Bar Marisol in Borrenes, although I sat down in the shade by the fountain. It was really hot!

I had lunch in O Camiño Real in Las Médulas, and then set off again, through the village, up the hill and down the never-ending path to Puente de Domingo Flórez, where I had booked a room in the Hostal La Torre.

The next day was a doddle to Sobradelo and O Barco, but - as others have said on here - it's not a good idea to walk 35+ kilómetres on your first day!
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
I don't want to walk 35+ km on any day, which is why I have spent so much time trying to plan my Invierno, given the prospective state of accommodation when I am walking in the fall.
There are plenty of places to stay on the Invierno!
 

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)
There are plenty of places to stay on the Invierno!
If you can think of anywhere on the camino between Quiroga and Montforte de Lemos (35.4 km according to Gronze) or between Montforte de Lemos and Chantada (30.4) km where I can stay in November, I would be grateful to hear of it.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
If you can think of anywhere on the camino between Quiroga and Montforte de Lemos (35.4 km according to Gronze) or between Montforte de Lemos and Chantada (30.4) km where I can stay in November, I would be grateful to hear of it.
Plenty of information in the guide and in other posts here.

Pensión Pacita
A Salanova

Torre Vilarino
Hotel O Ruso (Escairón)

For example.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
If you can think of anywhere on the camino between Quiroga and Montforte de Lemos (35.4 km according to Gronze) or between Montforte de Lemos and Chantada (30.4) km where I can stay in November, I would be grateful to hear of it.
I see that you're referring to Gronze, which is a good guide. For the stage from Quiroga to Montforte de Lemos it shows two options pretty close to the Camino:

1. Pensión Pacita - 350m from the Camino in A Labrada

2. "Acogida en el polideportivo de A Pobra do Brollón" (Accommodation in the sports hall at A Pobra do Brolion). - 400m from the village. I'm attaching two maps below - In the first, an Orange line shows the route of the Camino through A Pobra do Brollón. In the second, the red point shows the location of the sports hall.

A lot of little towns that lack albergues offer their municipal sports halls as pilgrim accommodation. It's generally pretty basic - you may find a bunk bed or you may find some mattresses on the floor. But there are showers and a roof over your head.

The first map is copied from IGN (Spains' National Geographical Institute)

Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 20.45.49.png

Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 20.45.33.png
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
If you can think of anywhere on the camino between Quiroga and Montforte de Lemos (35.4 km according to Gronze) or between Montforte de Lemos and Chantada (30.4) km where I can stay in November, I would be grateful to hear of it.
Before Monforte, Pension Pacita may not be on the camino. But it may as well be: it is very very close, and a lovely place to stay - the family there is very welcoming. I paid a very rwasonable amount (I think 20€) for a room with attached bath. I suspect that was a discount, but I don't know for sure. The food there is very nice too.
I got there early enough to soak my feet in the rio...it was heaven.

After Monforte, @alansykes had a post about his experience with Torre Villariño being closed, and he found somewhere in Escairon, but I can't find the post.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The Pobra option will not be available when @Albertagirl walks, since school will be in session. The Pacita is about 4 minutes off the camino, probably visible as soon as you turn in the direction of their sign. So that is what I would suggest for Quiroga to Monforte, even though it makes the stages slightly uneven, 14 km and 21 km more or less. The Salcedo option, which @Annette london really enjoyed, is 3 km off route.

I have written to confirm the dates for Torre Vilariño. Susana´s mother told me they usually closed in November, but I want to check it with Susana directly. I will let you know. Penelope's place in Castrotañe is about 25 m off Camino, so that is another option. That would also make for a lopsided stage between Monforte and Chantada, but it is essentially on the Camino.
 

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)
I see that you're referring to Gronze, which is a good guide. For the stage from Quiroga to Montforte de Lemos it shows two options pretty close to the Camino:

1. Pensión Pacita - 350m from the Camino in A Labrada

2. "Acogida en el polideportivo de A Pobra do Brollón" (Accommodation in the sports hall at A Pobra do Brolion). - 400m from the village. I'm attaching two maps below - In the first, an Orange line shows the route of the Camino through A Pobra do Brollón. In the second, the red point shows the location of the sports hall.

A lot of little towns that lack albergues offer their municipal sports halls as pilgrim accommodation. It's generally pretty basic - you may find a bunk bed or you may find some mattresses on the floor. But there are showers and a roof over your head.
The first map is copied from IGN (Spains' National Geographical Institute)
@Raggy
Thank you. I am planning on staying in Pension Pacita, if I can get a reservation for Nov. 1, which is a statutory holiday in Spain and the day that I expect to be going through there. It is also a Friday, so the first day of a three day weekend. I am familiar with information about the albergue in A Pobre de Brollon, but @peregrina2000 was through there recently and confirmed that the information about the albergue at A Pobre de Brollon has not been totally accurate. The current summer use only albergue is apparently in a school which formerly provided residential space for students and is still used as a school during term, so will not be available for walkers during the term. See her comment below:
"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."
posted by @peregrina2000 on June 30:
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@Raggy
Thank you. I am planning on staying in Pension Pacita, if I can get a reservation for Nov. 1, which is a statutory holiday in Spain and the day that I expect to be going through there. It is also a Friday, so the first day of a three day weekend. I am familiar with information about the albergue in A Pobre de Brollon, but @peregrina2000 was through there recently and confirmed that the information about the albergue at A Pobre de Brollon has not been totally accurate. The current summer use only albergue is apparently in a school which formerly provided residential space for students and is still used as a school during term, so will not be available for walkers during the term. See her comment below:
"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."
posted by @peregrina2000 on June 30:
One other thing that I jotted down when I was there a few weeks ago. At the junction I have pictured below, there is a sign for Casa dos Muros. It says it is one km from the junction. That is not a big detour, but it is also only about 9 km after Monforte, so it would also make for lopsided stages.

I wonder if you've tried to contact Penelope, because that might be a good bet.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Gotcha. Good to know.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@Raggy
Thank you. I am planning on staying in Pension Pacita, if I can get a reservation for Nov. 1, which is a statutory holiday in Spain and the day that I expect to be going through there. It is also a Friday, so the first day of a three day weekend. I am familiar with information about the albergue in A Pobre de Brollon, but @peregrina2000 was through there recently and confirmed that the information about the albergue at A Pobre de Brollon has not been totally accurate. The current summer use only albergue is apparently in a school which formerly provided residential space for students and is still used as a school during term, so will not be available for walkers during the term. See her comment below:
"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."
posted by @peregrina2000 on June 30:
ps, Albertagirl. I have had a WhatsApp conversation with Torre Vilariño. They want to know what date in November you will be through, because they may be open. I would have sent this through a PM, but I wanted other forum members to know that if they will be on the Invierno in the fall, a PM to Torre Vilariño might not be in vain. It is a great place to stay and nicely breaks up the Monforte to Chantada stage.
 

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)
I can see that I have attracted the assistance of several experienced Invierno walkers by my post. I only intended to indicate that the situation is somewhat more challenging than is suggested by @Charrito's post. I am currently trying to decide whether I should book accommodation in Pension Pacita and Hotel O'Ruso right away, although it is hard to say when I shall arrive there, after walking the Madrid and a week or so on the Frances. I am grateful for everyone's help, I wanted to indicate that it may sometimes be necessary to check carefully what might be available when walking this route. I have just seen @peregrina2000's post above, so I admit that I am less than thorough in working my way through all available alternatives. From reading the guide, I was unclear as to how easy it would be to find Penelope's place and I am not willing to phone for a pick-up, so I just accepted that Pension Pacita and Hotel O Ruso are options that I can probably find and are likely to be open in November.
 

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)
ps, Albertagirl. I have had a WhatsApp conversation with Torre Vilariño. They want to know what date in November you will be through, because they may be open. I would have sent this through a PM, but I wanted other forum members to know that if they will be on the Invierno in the fall, a PM to Torre Vilariño might not be in vain. It is a great place to stay and nicely breaks up the Monforte to Chantada stage.
Thanks so much. I have just been feeling guilty for stirring things up. If I am at Pension Pacita on Nov. 1, I would expect to spend the next night in Montforte de Lemos and be at either Hotel O Ruso or Torre Vilariño on Nov. 3. As this is early in the month, it is possible that Torre Vilariño would still be open, perhaps to take advantage of customers for the Nov. 1-3rd weekend. I shall contact both places at once. I realize that this commits me for a long time ahead, but it seems like the best thing to do.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
The Torre Vilariño was my only booking on the Invierno, and I made it a few dsys ahead, when I had a decent sense of my ecpecyed arrival day. But I can well understand your wanting to plan this leg farther out as you'll be walking later in the season. But not knowing where you'll be when is the challenge, and you'll not be wanting to put yourself in a pre-planned prison. It's a conundrum, @ albertagirl.

I'd suggest contacting them to see if the'll be open, and if so how far ahead they'd suggest booking. And then if they are closed, then ditto the place in Escarion.

Penelope's place is basically right on the camino. But that makes a super short stage from Monforte, so it wouldn't be my first choice. @Charrito can say more about Escarion, which is your only option if Torre V is closed. It would mean at least a detour from whete the camino crosses the road near Torre V, or a modified route.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I have just been feeling guilty for stirring things up
Oh my goodness, @Albertagirl, please don't. You're hiving us an opportunity to talk about the Invierno, as well as to maybe make your way a little smoother. We should be thanking you. ;)

I hope it a works out easily with TV and Pension Pacita, because these made what would otherwise be long slogs quite comfortable.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks so much. I have just been feeling guilty for stirring things up. If I am at Pension Pacita on Nov. 1, I would expect to spend the next night in Montforte de Lemos and be at either Hotel O Ruso or Torre Vilariño on Nov. 3. As this is early in the month, it is possible that Torre Vilariño would still be open, perhaps to take advantage of customers for the Nov. 1-3rd weekend. I shall contact both places at once. I realize that this commits me for a long time ahead, but it seems like the best thing to do.
Great news. I just heard from Susana that Torre Vilariño will be open on the 3rd. Closing after that for a month. She will write to you. Let me know if you don’t hear.
 

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)
Great news. I just heard from Susana that Torre Vilariño will be open on the 3rd. Closing after that for a month. She will write to you. Let me know if you don’t hear.
@peregrina2000
I tried to book a room for that date, although I could see that it would cost a lot if I booked online, with no way to identify myself as a pilgrim. With the taxes, it comes to 43.75 euros, including a 5 euro breakfast, but no other food. Half pension is 35 euros, which is beyond my budget. Anyway, after I had filled in the form, there was a request for a prepayment of 10.94 euros, a quarter of the full price. But this did not appear to go through, as I did not fill in credit card information. Then I saw an online message which said "Reserva completa" and assured me that an email had been sent to me confirming my reservation. No such email has arrived. I did my best to send an email to the address which I found on the website, explaining what had just happened. I suppose that there was no one on duty by then: still no email. It is quite a muddle, but I hope to hear from someone tomorrow and that it will get sorted out. There doesn't seem to be much more that I can do.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Before Monforte, Pension Pacita may not be on the camino. But it may as well be: it is very very close, and a lovely place to stay - the family there is very welcoming. I paid a very rwasonable amount (I think 20€) for a room with attached bath. I suspect that was a discount, but I don't know for sure. The food there is very nice too.
I got there early enough to soak my feet in the rio...it was heaven.

After Monforte, @alansykes had a post about his experience with Torre Villariño being closed, and he found somewhere in Escairon, but I can't find the post.
Hotel O Ruso en Escairón.
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
There is an easy solution to that, @MikeJS - don't walk so far. ;)
The stage you describe would be brutal. But that's because it's an especially long stage, not because the Invierno is especially hard. Most people stop long before that, quite happily.
But that was my point, I find 35 to 40 km a day very comfortable and have walked 50 before now. So as I had already walked from Alicante before my first stage of the Invierno I was surprised that I found it tough!
 

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)
Hotel O Ruso en Escairón.
That was my option, since I read in a post by @alansykes that he had stayed there last November, when he found Torre Vilarino closed. However, it would involve either a significant walk off the camino or a long detour off the camino and back to the same spot the next day. Now it appears that Torre Vilarino will be open, but I have been having problems booking a place and have not so far been able to sort it out. I would prefer to present myself as a pilgrim, so with a significantly lower pilgrim rate, as described by @VNwalking above. However, having a bed to sleep in is my priority, so I hope that, with patience and the kind help of @peregrina2000, I shall get it all sorted. This route, especially out of the busy season, seems to require many telephone bookings, which is a challenge for my basic Spanish and the fact that I live in Canada. However, your descriptions of the Invierno have presented an interesting route in beautiful terrain and I look forward to walking it.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@peregrina2000
I tried to book a room for that date, although I could see that it would cost a lot if I booked online, with no way to identify myself as a pilgrim. With the taxes, it comes to 43.75 euros, including a 5 euro breakfast, but no other food. Half pension is 35 euros, which is beyond my budget. Anyway, after I had filled in the form, there was a request for a prepayment of 10.94 euros, a quarter of the full price. But this did not appear to go through, as I did not fill in credit card information. Then I saw an online message which said "Reserva completa" and assured me that an email had been sent to me confirming my reservation. No such email has arrived. I did my best to send an email to the address which I found on the website, explaining what had just happened. I suppose that there was no one on duty by then: still no email. It is quite a muddle, but I hope to hear from someone tomorrow and that it will get sorted out. There doesn't seem to be much more that I can do.
It’s all taken care of. I’ll send you a PM. If anyone else needs help getting squared away at Torre Vilariño, let me know. It’s a great place, and you can take VN’s lovely loop with its absolutely gorgeous views over the Miño River!
 

Gazelle2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
19th May 2014
My 16year old son and I will be walking the Camino in Sept/Oct. I would love to walk Invierno and possibly parts of Frances. We have 9 days from Logroño to Compostela. The idea was to walk some and to bus some. We committed to walk at least 125km but this is our first hiking trail ever so we are praying for the best. ( advice on training also welcome ;-) )

Please help me decide which parts are better off being bussed. I thought of going via Burgess , Leon and on to Ponferada. That will mean we miss o'Cebreiro which sounded nice in what I read. Someone suggested riding up to o Cebreiro in horseback and down on a bicycle. I liked that.

I also noticed closer to Compostela there is a day on Invierno you walk through an industrial area. I would rather skip that in favour of walking a rural area. Leaving Logroño on 27 Sept. Have to fly out from Compostela 5 Oct.

Looking forward to your advice

Riana
South Africa
Walk the first bit from StJean Pierre de Port it is the most beautiful
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
If you wish to see the beauty of the Invierno follow the Rutas Y sendas YouTube channel:


The videos are in Spanish but the quality of the route shine through.

In my opinion you would be better taking the early stages of the Invierno starting at Ponferada then taking the train train to Montfort de Lemnos and missing out the middle bit which has less accommodation options.

The Invierno has a rail track paralleling it and there a number of stations where it is possible to catch the regular Ponferada to Montforte train.

Then continue along the Invierno to the Sanabres and Santiago de Compostella.

If you check on the Invierno forum there is a link to a PDF describing the route.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
If you can think of anywhere on the camino between Quiroga and Montforte de Lemos (35.4 km according to Gronze) or between Montforte de Lemos and Chantada (30.4) km where I can stay in November, I would be grateful to hear of it.
I stayed at expat Penelope Anderton in Castrotane between Monforte and Chantada:
Galicia holiday rentals
Castrotañe 2, San Vicente de Castillon, 27438 Panton, Lugo, España
+34 677 120321
+34 982 171632
Also: pandertonswann@gmail.com

It's right on the Camino.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
My 16year old son and I will be walking the Camino in Sept/Oct. I would love to walk Invierno and possibly parts of Frances. We have 9 days from Logroño to Compostela. The idea was to walk some and to bus some. We committed to walk at least 125km but this is our first hiking trail ever so we are praying for the best. ( advice on training also welcome ;-) )

Please help me decide which parts are better off being bussed. I thought of going via Burgess , Leon and on to Ponferada. That will mean we miss o'Cebreiro which sounded nice in what I read. Someone suggested riding up to o Cebreiro in horseback and down on a bicycle. I liked that.

I also noticed closer to Compostela there is a day on Invierno you walk through an industrial area. I would rather skip that in favour of walking a rural area. Leaving Logroño on 27 Sept. Have to fly out from Compostela 5 Oct.

Looking forward to your advice

Riana
South Africa
Hola, Riana,

Why not simply start in Ponferrada and walk the Invierno to Santiago? You'll get the feeling of continuity, you could obtain Compostela, no madding crowds on last 100km etc., just magical.

Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:

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)
I stayed at expat Penelope Anderton in Castrotane between Monforte and Chantada:
Galicia holiday rentals
Castrotañe 2, San Vicente de Castillon, 27438 Panton, Lugo, España
+34 677 120321
+34 982 171632
Also: pandertonswann@gmail.com

It's right on the Camino.
Thank you,
@peregrina2000 reminded me of this recently, and when I looked at the guide again I found that I had discounted this location because I was unclear of how to get there and likely to get lost. Laurie has also contacted Torre Vilarino on my behalf and been told that they are closing in early November for the month, but will still be open then (Nov.3) and will guarantee me a room, closing the next day. The day after she told me this, I got a reply to my email to them, saying simply that they are closed for the month. So I shall have to see how it goes. But I shall just walk across to O Ruso if that happens, as @alansykes did last November. And I am not above looking for a sheltered spot and rolling up in my sleeping bag, if it comes to that. I am overdue for an adventure.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
If you will walk from Monforte the stage to Castrotane might be a bit too short. I walked from A Pobra so it was just enough for St.James Day :)
Penelope even bought me a six-pack when the mercados were still opened so I was all good when I came there occupying the new apartment on ground floor. Nice talking to her also for a few hours in the stone walled patio and she showed me around the property. She's from England otherwise.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I stayed at expat Penelope Anderton in Castrotane between Monforte and Chantada:
Galicia holiday rentals
Castrotañe 2, San Vicente de Castillon, 27438 Panton, Lugo, España
+34 677 120321
+34 982 171632
Also: pandertonswann@gmail.com

It's right on the Camino.
Hi, K1,
I actually wrote to Penelope to see about whether that would be a possibility for @Albertagirl. She wrote back that there is now a long term inhabitant of the room where pilgrims used to stay, but that there may be a possibility of another room if we were to get in contact closer to the date. I know that @Albertagirl wanted to have the stages down pat since she is walking in Oct-Nov, so I just thanked her and didn’t follow up. Seems like maybe she’s moving out of the pilgrim trade.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Really wouldn't know about that. Haven't been in contact with her for couple of years now. She might be out of the pilgrim trade but OTOH empty room is the most expensive room for the owner. Same as empty airplane seat. Worth a try closer to the date if the stage lenght would be OK for @Albertagirl .
There's plenty to do even in the morning in Monforte I'd say ;)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Worth a try closer to the date if the stage lenght would be OK for @Albertagirl .
That's what Laurie said.
I'd tend to agree with Laurie, @Albertagirl .
From Monforte to Castrotane is less than a half-day's walk; it's absurdly short. And it sounds like Torre Vilarino is going to be open. But if for some reason that doesn't pan out (and being adventurous is an option), in your shoes I'd be thinking of continuing to Diomondi and sleeping under that church porch. What a night that would be!
(According to the time stamps on my photos it took me about an hour and a half to go from T.V. to Diomondi, at a comfortable pace.)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
What a night that would be!
For kicks, I just went back and looked at my photos. There's not much of an overhang over the portico (or anywhere on the side or back, for that matter, not like some churches which have a proper covered porch someplace.
Hee hee. It's Galicia. Which means you would be playing Russian Roulette with the weather. ;)
 

Attachments

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)
For kicks, I just went back and looked at my photos. There's not much of an overhang over the portico (or anywhere on the side or back, for that matter, not like some churches which have a proper covered porch someplace.
Hee hee. It's Galicia. Which means you would be playing Russian Roulette with the weather. ;)
You know, the lack of a real porch overhang is what I was wondering about. So many places in Spain, if there is a church porch, it is made inaccessible by a locked gate, unless there is something going on in the church. But I can still walk to Escairon if I have to, as @alansykes did last November when he found Vilarino closed. I have done what I can, with Laurie's help, so I shall just take my chances.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Well, on a nice night, it would be very special.
Wherever you send up sleeping, buen camino, @Albertagirl! Many of us who walked the Invierno this year will be thinking of you, full of nostalgia.
 

Rpeet1

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting in Porto may 2019
Want to have a nice experience? Make it simple...enjoy the time with your son. Walk Pamplona to Burgos! Next year you two can come back and do another portion. Assuming you're still speaking. I can share our itinerary with you if you choose to do my suggestion.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you. Making changes as per your suggestion
Hi, @Riana, I am wondering what you have decided to do. You probably got the sense that with nine days to walk, starting in Logroño is going to put you on the bus for a lot of the time. I would definitely agree with those who suggest starting much closer to Santiago, given your desire for the compostela.

And as far as industrial areas on the Invierno, I am drawing a blank, but maybe I am just forgetting something. Buen camino, Laurie
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
And in defense of my very selective memory, I will say that I was searching my brain for industry like the kind you see going into Avilés from Gijón. I don’t remember any factories at all after Lalín, just distribution warehouses and commercial dealers of all sorts of building supplies, furniture, etc. But others can correct me. And in addition to the two bars, there is also a four star hotel!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I don’t remember any factories at all after Lalín, just distribution warehouses and commercial dealers of all sorts of building supplies, furniture, etc. But others can correct me. And in addition to the two bars, there is also a four star hotel!
Exactamente! 👍
(And you missed a bit of what you describe on the Vasco by running up and down all those mountains, Laurie. ;) Now that's industry. The part on the Invierno? An eyeblink.)
 

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