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Planning a “25 km or less” Camino on the Invierno

Puente de Domingo Flórez to O Barco de Valdeorra

It’s a very easy direct way out of town leaving Hostel La Torre, crossing a bridge over the Rio Sil and entering Galica. In my research, there had been reports of an aggressive dog on a long chain near the railway tracks at the suburb of Quereño. I saw him but he was sleeping and didn’t stir as I passed by.

The camino continues under a railway tunnel which leaves no doubt that this is the way. This one obviously marked for me, given my inattention leaving Las Medulas the day before. A metal waymark attached to the rock with two painted arrows below and three more through the tunnel.
tunnel.jpg
The way ascends above the railway and continues along a forest path. Beautiful views of the Sil emerge and the first of several rest / picnic areas. All along the route on this day, there were places to stop, sit and enjoy the view.
i7.jpg
Continuing past pretty gardens into the village of Pumares. There is a little square here – no bar but there was a fountain with a potable water sign.
i6.jpg i10.jpg
The path continues high along the ridge with the river and railroad below. Peaceful and quiet...except for the few noisy slate manufacturing yards along the way.
i5.jpg
Arriving at the site of the abandoned village of Nogueiras, there is a slate path leading off and up to the right. Through the ruins of a house on the left and a stone wall on the right was a sign “Bienvenido A Tu Casa” In an inner courtyard someone has created a shrine to the Virgin Mary. There are benches made of slate. A nice place for a rest.
i4.jpg
Continuing along the path soon brought views ahead of Sobradelo.
i3.jpg
I stopped for a break at the welcoming Bar Mar. A wonderful place to stop for coffee and a snack. The young woman at the bar told me to sit and rest on the covered terrace and asked what I’d like to drink. She brought my coffee and a stamp for my credential as well as a fruit tart that she said was on the house. As I was leaving she asked if she could take my photo against the Bar Mar sign. She said they liked to keep a record of the pilgrims that stop at the bar.
i2.jpg
Leaving Sobradelo on the main road, following the well marked turns and then onto the descending road into Éntoma. First views emerge of the terraced vineyards high on the slopes above the town. Crossing a medieval bridge over the Rio Galir, will bring you to the Bar Martillo. I didn’t stop, continuing on to a forested path climbing up over Èntoma and through the terraced vineyards seen on the approach to the village.
I1.jpg i9.jpg
The path descends, crossing a main road, eventually arriving at the outskirts of O Barco de Valdeorras.
It took awhile to get into the city from the outskirts and then to find my accommodation. I was staying at the Hostal Mayo (25 euro) which was on the opposite end of town but very close to the river and convenient to get back on the camino the next morning. I enjoyed the evening here walking along the lovely river path, alive with cafes and the social life of the town.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Wonderful, we can always count on @Theatregal for beautiful descriptions. I always find that your words trigger memories for me, so thank you!

Your mention of Éntoma reminded me that it was there, as I walked through the village, that an elderly resident came and gave me specific directions on how to find an abandoned cherry orchard, where it was perfectly legal to pick cherries. Oh, the cherries! On this camino, I have eaten dark red, light red, yellow, and yellow blushing with red and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite!

I remember you saying earlier that the chained up dog had gone silent — maybe he finally got tired of abusing his vocal chords. I should point out that even during the times when he was more aggressive, his chain is very sturdy and he cannot reach the path where you’re walking. I mentioned it only because I know that the first time I went by, I was so rattled by the barking that I missed the arrow. But there has never been any danger.

That lovely little shrine in the hamlet of Nogueiras was made by some local women. I coincided with some who were out for their morning walk from Sobradelo to the shrine and back. You are likely to see many town walkers out doing the same on this stretch, and they are generally cheeful and happy to see you!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Puente de Domingo Flórez to O Barco de Valdeorra

It’s a very easy direct way out of town leaving Hostel La Torre, crossing a bridge over the Rio Sil and entering Galica. In my research, there had been reports of an aggressive dog on a long chain near the railway tracks at the suburb of Quereño. I saw him but he was sleeping and didn’t stir as I passed by.

The camino continues under a railway tunnel which leaves no doubt that this is the way. This one obviously marked for me, given my inattention leaving Las Medulas the day before. A metal waymark attached to the rock with two painted arrows below and three more through the tunnel.
View attachment 91750
The way ascends above the railway and continues along a forest path. Beautiful views of the Sil emerge and the first of several rest / picnic areas. All along the route on this day, there were places to stop, sit and enjoy the view.
View attachment 91757
Continuing past pretty gardens into the village of Pumares. There is a little square here – no bar but there was a fountain with a potable water sign.
View attachment 91756 View attachment 91760
The path continues high along the ridge with the river and railroad below. Peaceful and quiet...except for the few noisy slate manufacturing yards along the way.
View attachment 91755
Arriving at the site of the abandoned village of Nogueiras, there is a slate path leading off and up to the right. Through the ruins of a house on the left and a stone wall on the right was a sign “Bienvenido A Tu Casa” In an inner courtyard someone has created a shrine to the Virgin Mary. There are benches made of slate. A nice place for a rest.
View attachment 91754
Continuing along the path soon brought views ahead of Sobradelo.
View attachment 91753
I stopped for a break at the welcoming Bar Mar. A wonderful place to stop for coffee and a snack. The young woman at the bar told me to sit and rest on the covered terrace and asked what I’d like to drink. She brought my coffee and a stamp for my credential as well as a fruit tart that she said was on the house. As I was leaving she asked if she could take my photo against the Bar Mar sign. She said they liked to keep a record of the pilgrims that stop at the bar.
View attachment 91752
Leaving Sobradelo on the main road, following the well marked turns and then onto the descending road into Éntoma. First views emerge of the terraced vineyards high on the slopes above the town. Crossing a medieval bridge over the Rio Galir, will bring you to the Bar Martillo. I didn’t stop, continuing on to a forested path climbing up over Èntoma and through the terraced vineyards seen on the approach to the village.
View attachment 91751 View attachment 91759
The path descends, crossing a main road, eventually arriving at the outskirts of O Barco de Valdeorras.
It took awhile to get into the city from the outskirts and then to find my accommodation. I was staying at the Hostal Mayo (25 euro) which was on the opposite end of town but very close to the river and convenient to get back on the camino the next morning. I enjoyed the evening here walking along the lovely river path, alive with cafes and the social life of the town.
This was very helpful, Theatregal! 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
the abandoned village of Nogueiras
I know that @peregrina2000 has commented in the past about how confusing the names of various Galician hamlets and towns can be. I went looking for Nogueiras on google maps/earth, but couldn't find it on the Invierno. However, I did find this view of some ruins about 1.5 km after Pumares, that must be the abandoned village you mention. Any idea of when it last had residents?
 

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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Wonderful, we can always count on @Theatregal for beautiful descriptions. I always find that your words trigger memories for me, so thank you!

Your mention of Éntoma reminded me that it was there, as I walked through the village, that an elderly resident came and gave me specific directions on how to find an abandoned cherry orchard, where it was perfectly legal to pick cherries. Oh, the cherries! On this camino, I have eaten dark red, light red, yellow, and yellow blushing with red and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite!

I remember you saying earlier that the chained up dog had gone silent — maybe he finally got tired of abusing his vocal chords. I should point out that even during the times when he was more aggressive, his chain is very sturdy and he cannot reach the path where you’re walking. I mentioned it only because I know that the first time I went by, I was so rattled by the barking that I missed the arrow. But there has never been any danger.

That lovely little shrine in the hamlet of Nogueiras was made by some local women. I coincided with some who were out for their morning walk from Sobradelo to the shrine and back. You are likely to see many town walkers out doing the same on this stretch, and they are generally cheeful and happy to see you!

Just a note regarding the dogs. My heart bleeds for many of these poor dogs. Some of the dog chains are so thick that they could pull a bulldozer! Early in the mornings..in early March, I have seen dogs shivering inside fences. On hot Sept. afternoons, I have seen dogs panting in very hot sun. Some have dog houses. . But dogs are social animals and need human contact. We often stop along the way and talk with the dogs and sometimes we pet them. Most dogs just want a little attention.
 
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Flogwail

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
In Spain, almost everywhere I've been and observed, dogs are working animals whether guarding a factory, a yard, a vegetable plot or a vacant weekend home. I've witnessed plenty of cruelty and neglect (sometimes it's obvious the animal has been left for days) and I don't like that they are almost always chained, but I do feel safer for it personally, even if mostly they just bark out of boredom, for a little attention. Where I Iive, we regard dogs overwhelmingly as pets, even 'working' dogs, so I guess there is a cultural aspect to it and I have to accept it at that.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
In Spain, almost everywhere I've been and observed, dogs are working animals whether guarding a factory, a yard, a vegetable plot or a vacant weekend home. I've witnessed plenty of cruelty and neglect (sometimes it's obvious the animal has been left for days) and I don't like that they are almost always chained, but I do feel safer for it personally, even if mostly they just bark out of boredom, for a little attention. Where I Iive, we regard dogs overwhelmingly as pets, even 'working' dogs, so I guess there is a cultural aspect to it and I have to accept it at that.
Dog Abuse is cruel. ... but I do understand your point. Here in USA there are ferocious guard dogs too. And there are working dogs. But I would hope there is a handler, that takes good care of them. That they are taken inside when the weather is severe, etc. Given affection. I would say the same to any culture that abuses dogs...
 

MJB

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (in sections 2004, 2012, 2015); Portugues (from Oporto 2013); Primitivo (from Castroverde) 2012; Invierno (2016)
I enjoyed the early morning descent from As Medulas to Puente de Domingo Flores. Wonderful views. I went in April and the wild flowers were also beautiful.
O Barco is one of my favorite towns in Spain. It has only 10,000 people, but punches far above its weight for charm, scenery, food and wine. Since walking I have taken my wife and Brazilian friends back with me. The Malecon (walk along the river) is a great, busy outdoor walk, with pretty views, full of bars and people. Especially in summer it is a pleasure to walk up and down enjoying the all-ages crowd or to sit late into the evening having bar food and wine. If you don't fill up with bar food, the Restaurante Piquino, which borders it, has a dining room behind the bar with genuinely excellent food. The Asador Viloira, across the first pedestrian bridge, is not as good, but would feel like a find in most small towns on any Camino.
Even going to Mass was a treat. The church is 60s modern and its interior is not handsome. But the acoustics were good and – rare for a Catholic Church along the Camino – there were lots of people under thirty in attendance.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Good infl,
I enjoyed the early morning descent from As Medulas to Puente de Domingo Flores. Wonderful views. I went in April and the wild flowers were also beautiful.
O Barco is one of my favorite towns in Spain. It has only 10,000 people, but punches far above its weight for charm, scenery, food and wine. Since walking I have taken my wife and Brazilian friends back with me. The Malecon (walk along the river) is a great, busy outdoor walk, with pretty views, full of bars and people. Especially in summer it is a pleasure to walk up and down enjoying the all-ages crowd or to sit late into the evening having bar food and wine. If you don't fill up with bar food, the Restaurante Piquino, which borders it, has a dining room behind the bar with genuinely excellent food. The Asador Viloira, across the first pedestrian bridge, is not as good, but would feel like a find in most small towns on any Camino.
Even going to Mass was a treat. The church is 60s modern and its interior is not handsome. But the acoustics were good and – rare for a Catholic Church along the Camino – there were lots of people under thirty in attendance.

Where did you stay? Great info...thanks.
 

MJB

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (in sections 2004, 2012, 2015); Portugues (from Oporto 2013); Primitivo (from Castroverde) 2012; Invierno (2016)
Good infl,


Where did you stay? Great info...thanks.
Hostal Mayo, a slightly dated 3* hotel in the center by Pension do Lar, and Hotel Malecon, a little more recently refreshed and very clean, hard by the Malecon. Unfortunately the owner of the Malecon goes away during the siesta, so if you trudge into town during siesta you have to camp out on the Malecon or in a bar. At time I would have loved to get straight into hot shower.
 
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That lovely little shrine in the hamlet of Nogueiras was made by some local women. I coincided with some who were out for their morning walk from Sobradelo to the shrine and back. You are likely to see many town walkers out doing the same on this stretch, and they are generally cheeful and happy to see you!
Yes, when I was resting in shrine at Nogueiras, two people (at separate times), one of them a jogger, came in for a quick prayer. It was nice to see something created that brought activity to this abandoned place.

I really enjoyed this day with memorable encounters with very kind local people in every place I stopped.
 
I know that @peregrina2000 has commented in the past about how confusing the names of various Galician hamlets and towns can be. I went looking for Nogueiras on google maps/earth, but couldn't find it on the Invierno. However, I did find this view of some ruins about 1.5 km after Pumares, that must be the abandoned village you mention. Any idea of when it last had residents?
I've tried to find information about Nogueiras online but no luck. Looks like it was definitely a stop on the rail line at some point. In addition to the shrine activity, there are bee boxes along the ruins of stone walls on the hills. Some other photos of the site.

n.jpg n4.jpg n5.jpg n2.jpg n3.jpg n1.JPG n9.jpg n10.jpg
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Aiyiyi!
Catch up on my sleep, and see what I get: you guys are already in O Barco!:eek:🤣

My biggest concern, so far is our ability to find the markers. I have read that the trail is well marked
Have no fear, @Marbe2. As others have said, the waymarking is excellent. The only two places I ran into trouble were where the marker was overgrown by grass. One of these was leaving O Barco, and when we come to that part I will post a picture.

I am making the executive decision that we have had enough discussion of visiting Las Médulas.
Sorry, Laurie, just re-posting the following paragraph here, for anyone who's a bit adventurous. If you stay in Orellan, it's completely possible to continue directly to Puente de Domingo Flores without stopping in Las Medulas, going across the top of the ancient mine without dropping down into the town. Those of us who might be walking the Invierno a second (or third or fourth!) time might be particularly interested in this option.

My OSMand map tells me there're two CRs in Orellan. So you could get up to the Mirador and galleries early in the morning and then continue on to the Mirador de Pedrices, from there intersecting the Camino where it continues to PdDF. Here's a map with the 2 miradors as the two intermediate points, and the intersection of the Camino as the endpoint. It would certainly save you the knee busting descent into town, which in places is quite steep.
Screenshot_20210121-190457_OsmAnd.jpg

Mirador Pedrices, which is about .5 km off-camino. If you’ve seen it from Orellán, this is a poor second.
This is certainly true in the morning when most people see it, but in late afternoon or evening it must be spectacular. I first learned about Las Medulas from a stunning poster of this morning view that is in the albergue at La Faba.

That lovely little shrine in the hamlet of Nogueiras was made by some local women.
Ah that explains the feeling of being embraced there. It's both sweet and poignant.

an elderly resident came and gave me specific directions on how to find an abandoned cherry orchard, where it was perfectly legal to pick cherries. Oh, the cherries! On this camino, I have eaten dark red, light red, yellow, and yellow blushing with red and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite!
Next. Time. :eek:😍

I loved this stage, descending into the river valley, and experiencing the distinct change of landscape. It's one of those Camino days when you start in one universe and end up in another.

I got to PdDF a bit too early for any bars to be open, but the Dia (on the corner as you head to the bridge across the Rio Sil) was perfectly adequate for yogurt, bread, cheese, and fruit. Only one word to the wise: don't miss the best picnic bench in the world, which after PdDF overlooking part of the river that has been dammed. I stopped to enjoy my second breakfast about 50 meters before this, sitting on an uncomfortable stone with no view. It was pleasant enough, but then I came around the corner afterwards and saw this:
20190605_111121.jpg
😄 :rolleyes::oops:

The way along the river to Sobradelo was lovely, past Nogueiras and through Pumares. For the most part it follows the river and the rail line, but was very quiet.
20190605_112715.jpg 20190605_113714.jpg 20190605_114038.jpg 20190605_120932.jpg 20190605_122340.jpg 20190605_130039.jpg

I did stay in the place at Sobradelo, and found it a bit grubby and off-putting. They were doing some serious renovation, so that might have been part of the problem. Hopefully it has improved. But breakfast was just perfect!
20190606_073440.jpg

Entoma was very sweet, and check out the cork oaks between there and O Barco:
20190606_085912 - Copy.jpg

I had the same experience in O Barco as in PdDF of being a little too early for much to be happening. So it was very pleasant, but super quiet. Just walking through this town along the river, I didn't get much of a sense of it; it sounds like a wonderful place to stay.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
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.
A beautiful walk of about 26 km but we sauntered as opposed to walking due to the heat ..34 degrees or so
Cherries..oh those cherries,and for one reason or another I will never forget those cherries
Now, cherries being my favourite fruit, I was indeed in "cherry heaven" ..big ones, small ones, wild ones...all went down the hatch....stones as well ....pure unadulterated greed really.
When we walk the Invierno again though....it will be at the same time as before when the cherry trees are in full bloom

We had coffee in the lovely little village of Entoma but the Camino was closed due to roadworks Near the path so had to take the main road into O Barco ...probably 3-4 km shorter but not as scenic as the dirt track
Stayed at Le Gran Tortuga...a bit run down but the welcome from the owner made up for this
She cooked a meal for us at 7pm and the breakfast was one of the best we've ever had on any Camino
I THINk I've read somewhere that the Tortuga is closed but can't be sure of this
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Just caught up with this thread as I only started yesterday! However, as my first day (May 2017) was Ponferrada to Puente de Domingo Florez and the second day was PdDF to A Rua I am with you now. It was a while ago so my memory is a little faded but I will chip in if I can.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Aiyiyi!
Catch up on my sleep, and see what I get: you guys are already in O Barco!:eek:🤣


Have no fear, @Marbe2. As others have said, the waymarking is excellent. The only two places I ran into trouble were where the marker was overgrown by grass. One of these was leaving O Barco, and when we come to that part I will post a picture.


Sorry, Laurie, just re-posting the following paragraph here, for anyone who's a bit adventurous. If you stay in Orellan, it's completely possible to continue directly to Puente de Domingo Flores without stopping in Las Medulas, going across the top of the ancient mine without dropping down into the town. Those of us who might be walking the Invierno a second (or third or fourth!) time might be particularly interested in this option.

My OSMand map tells me there're two CRs in Orellan. So you could get up to the Mirador and galleries early in the morning and then continue on to the Mirador de Pedrices, from there intersecting the Camino where it continues to PdDF. Here's a map with the 2 miradors as the two intermediate points, and the intersection of the Camino as the endpoint. It would certainly save you the knee busting descent into town, which in places is quite steep.
Screenshot_20210121-190457_OsmAnd.jpg


This is certainly true in the morning when most people see it, but in late afternoon or evening it must be spectacular. I first learned about Las Medulas from a stunning poster of this morning view that is in the albergue at La Faba.


Ah that explains the feeling of being embraced there. It's both sweet and poignant.


Next. Time. :eek:😍

I loved this stage, descending into the river valley, and experiencing the distinct change of landscape. It's one of those Camino days when you start in one universe and end up in another.

I got to PdDF a bit too early for any bars to be open, but the Dia (on the corner as you head to the bridge across the Rio Sil) was perfectly adequate for yogurt, bread, cheese, and fruit. Only one word to the wise: don't miss the best picnic bench in the world, which after PdDF overlooking part of the river that has been dammed. I stopped to enjoy my second breakfast about 50 meters before this, sitting on an uncomfortable stone with no view. It was pleasant enough, but then I came around the corner afterwards and saw this:
View attachment 91785
😄 :rolleyes::oops:

The way along the river to Sobradelo was lovely, past Nogueiras and through Pumares. For the most part it follows the river and the rail line, but was very quiet.
View attachment 91786 View attachment 91787 View attachment 91788 View attachment 91789 View attachment 91791 View attachment 91792

I did stay in the place at Sobradelo, and found it a bit grubby and off-putting. They were doing some serious renovation, so that might have been part of the problem. Hopefully it has improved. But breakfast was just perfect!
View attachment 91794

Entoma was very sweet, and check out the cork oaks between there and O Barco:
View attachment 91795

I had the same experience in O Barco as in PdDF of being a little too early for much to be happening. So it was very pleasant, but super quiet. Just walking through this town along the river, I didn't get much of a sense of it; it sounds like a wonderful place to stay.
Thank you, VN...The pictures and narrative you and Theatregal provided are very helpful. Photos are terrific! I appreciate the time and effort it took to post this treasure-trove.
A beautiful walk of about 26 km but we sauntered as opposed to walking due to the heat ..34 degrees or so
Cherries..oh those cherries,and for one reason or another I will never forget those cherries
Now, cherries being my favourite fruit, I was indeed in "cherry heaven" ..big ones, small ones, wild ones...all went down the hatch....stones as well ....pure unadulterated greed really.
When we walk the Invierno again though....it will be at the same time as before when the cherry trees are in full bloom

We had coffee in the lovely little village of Entoma but the Camino was closed due to roadworks Near the path so had to take the main road into O Barco ...probably 3-4 km shorter but not as scenic as the dirt track
Stayed at Le Gran Tortuga...a bit run down but the welcome from the owner made up for this
She cooked a meal for us at 7pm and the breakfast was one of the best we've ever had on any Camino
I THINk I've read somewhere that the Tortuga is closed but can't be sure of this

Walking on the pavement in 34C is hot!
 

Rod Murray

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016) Portuguese Coastal (Sept 2019)
Thanks to @Marbe for the interest in the Invierno.

A few years ago, I posted some shorter stages options for the Invierno. Since that time, facilities have increased and there are more options. So I am starting a day by day Virtual Invierno tour, following the examples of my good buddies’ @AJGuillaume and @VNwalking, who have done this for the Viejo, the Mozárabe, and currently the Lana.

So, here is what I suggest. Let’s talk about it one stage at a time. I will post the stage, give a couple of days for input (both questions and suggestions) and then move on to the next. At the end we should have a pretty good document to complement our Forum Resources guide. John Brierley has an Invierno guide now, which is available in the forum store. I think our forum guide is all you need, but the fact that Brierley has one is a clear indication of which way he thinks the winds are blowing!

The way we have done the Lana planning is a good guide for us, I think. We just completed Part I (Alicante to Cuenca). It had about 450 posts, and I went back and edited out all the banter so that the end product would be more helpful as a planning tool. We wound up with about 250 posts in the Part I document. So, let’s continue with that here, because the side chatter makes it feel more like a real conversation. At the end, I will go back and “clean it up.”

The unknown, of course, is how covid will ultimately impact the infrastructure, but we will just have to use our best judgment.

I will be back in a few minutes to get this started.

Buen camino, Laurie
Canadian Sara Dhooma did a video series on her walk on the Invierno a few years back, to be found here- https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkWTKtiUr2peE_7XRTAgtrx1gVyK72jwT
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Cherries..oh those cherries,and for one reason or another I will never forget those cherries
Now, cherries being my favourite fruit, I was indeed in "cherry heaven" ..big ones, small ones, wild ones...all went down the hatch....stones as well ....pure unadulterated greed really.
And I thought I was the only one. 🤣
The slightly bitter wild ones became particular favorites, and I started to feel guilty about depriving the wildlife of food which was more rightly theirs than mine.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!

Rowena

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2015, 2018) Le Puy-SJPP(2016) Geneva Way(2017) Portugués Muxia Fisterra(2019) Invierno(2021)
Now I have a question.You have all persuaded me to stop at Las Medulas, since I will have walked there from Villavieja and I want to see the amazing landscape there. So the next day, in order to keep the distance down, I could stop in Sobradelo, although O Barco sounds like a much better place to spend the night. If I do stop in Sobradelo, the next day would take me to A Rua, which looks like about 20km.
So here’s the question, although I suppose it’s really a question for tomorrow. Would I then be sentencing myself to an even longer day over more difficult terrain than that between Las Medulas and O Barco, due to lack of accommodation after A Rua?
Thank you for the beautiful photos. I can hardly wait to get there!
 
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peregrina2000

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Now I have a question.You have all persuaded me to stop at Las Medulas, since I will have walked there from Villavieja and I want to see the amazing landscape there. So the next day, in order to keep the distance down, I could stop in Sobradelo, although O Barco sounds like a much better place to spend the night. If I do stop in Sobradelo, the next day would take me to A Rua, which looks like about 20km.
So here’s the question, although I suppose it’s really a question for tomorrow. Would I then be sentencing myself to an even longer day over more difficult terrain than that between Las Medulas and O Barco, due to lack of accommodation after A Rua?
Thank you for the beautiful photos. I can hardly wait to get there!
Quick answer, which is just my opinion. You should plan to stay in A Rúa, whether you have slept the night before in Sobradelo or O Barco. From A Rúa, we will talk about several alternatives, some involving a train ride but allowing you to walk every step.

I will post the Sobradelo/Barco to Rúa thread tomorrow. I think virtually everyone spends the night in a Rúa, so we will all “meet up” there before going our separate ways again!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Would I then be sentencing myself to an even longer day over more difficult terrain than that between Las Medulas and O Barco, due to lack of accommodation after A Rua?
Quick answer, which is just my opinion.
Agree, Laurie.
As you say Rowena, from A Rua, there's no choice about where to stay next, in Quiroga (the terrain for that stage is a little up and down, nothing dramatic). So I walked Las Medulas-Sobradelo-A Rua in order to balance the distances, rather than staying in O Barco.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I think it’s a display, more than a marker, but it does suggest that everyone in Lalín knows about the camino. And since you’re not a meat eater, VN, you probably don’t know that Lalín‘s love affair with the pig has to do with its fame as a place for eating cocido.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
And since you’re not a meat eater, VN, you probably don’t know that Lalín‘s love affair with the pig has to do with its fame as a place for eating cocido.
I actually did, but I'm a sucker for a good pig statue.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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
Now I have a question.You have all persuaded me to stop at Las Medulas, since I will have walked there from Villavieja and I want to see the amazing landscape there. So the next day, in order to keep the distance down, I could stop in Sobradelo, although O Barco sounds like a much better place to spend the night. If I do stop in Sobradelo, the next day would take me to A Rua, which looks like about 20km.
So here’s the question, although I suppose it’s really a question for tomorrow. Would I then be sentencing myself to an even longer day over more difficult terrain than that between Las Medulas and O Barco, due to lack of accommodation after A Rua?
Thank you for the beautiful photos. I can hardly wait to get there!
I did short days and stayed in Borrenes, PddFlorez, o Barco and A Rua, where I stayed two nights and did the bit of next stage from ARua to Montefurado with a train back to my bed in Hostal Niza in A Rua. The route from O Barco to A Rua is flat and easy go, the next to Quiroga is more climbing, but more managing to me since I had walked to Montefurado the day before. There was a train in the morning.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I did short days and stayed in Borrenes, PddFlorez, o Barco and A Rua, where I stayed two nights and did the bit of next stage from ARua to Montefurado with a train back to my bed in Hostal Niza in A Rua.

Thanks for that idea. I think that maybe the most helpful part of this thread is that those who want to plan an Invierno get to see such a variety of stages, like the one @ranthr just posted. Thanks to everyone for posting their own individual permutations. There are so many different ways to walk this route, and I hope that all these different suggestions give the planners confidence that there are plenty of options if Plan A fails and you have to go to Plan B.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I THINk I've read somewhere that the Tortuga is closed but can't be sure of this
Glad you posted this, because it spurred me to send them a WhatsApp to ask. Their response is that their pensión is open, as is the bar, but because of COVID they will only serve food to those who sleep in the pensión. They respond quickly via WhatsApp, so that’s how I would suggest contacting them for reservations. As Annette said, simple but clean and copious breakfast with a fair amount of fruit if I remember correctly.

Phone 34 608 57 34 80
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Thanks for that idea. I think that maybe the most helpful part of this thread is that those who want to plan an Invierno get to see such a variety of stages, like the one @ranthr just posted. Thanks to everyone for posting their own individual permutations. There are so many different ways to walk this route, and I hope that all these different suggestions give the planners confidence that there are plenty of options if Plan A fails and you have to go to Plan B.


I was waiting to discuss the route from A Rua to Quiroga when we get to that section. i saw the suggestion of using the train back to ARua from Montefurado in the 2019 guide but the return train schedule would not likely work for us in Sept. I think returning to A Rua appears to be only in the evening. Walking there in the afternoon might be too hot. I would want to explore option of staying in Soldon if anyone has done this? What were the apartments like? But, I wonder if it would be better to wait for a reply so that this info appears in that section?
 
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ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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
I was waiting to discuss the route from A Rua to Quiroga when we get to that section. i saw the suggestion of using the train back to ARua from Montefurado on the 2019 guide but the return train schedule would not likely work for us in Sept. I think returning to A Rua appears to be only in the evening. Walking there in the afternoon might be too hot. I would want to explore option of staying in Soldon if anyone has done this? What were the apartments like? But, I wonder if it would be better to wait for a reply so that this info appears in that section?
I walked there in the afternoon, having walked from O Barco earlier in the day. This was end of May, a bit hot. but since I had left my big backpack in my room, it was ok. Had to wait for the train for an hour.
My first plan was to stay in Soldon. I had booked a room and the owners told me they could do some shopping for me, looked nice. I cancelled my booking when I saw the possibility to return to A Rua.

When I arrived in Soldon in a rainy afternoon, I was glad I did not stay there. It seemed totally empty, I rested a bit under the bridge and walked on. I guess it had been different if I had company, but staying there alone, no.
I did not meet many peregrinos on the Invierno, and I really don´t walk to get a family along the way, I like to walk alone, but on the Invierno I thought a bit about what would happen if I had an accident out there. When would I be found?
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Oh wow! Just stumbled across this stream, Laurie. Will take me a day or two catch up but if I walk very fast or run, maybe I'll reach you before the finish. What a great route. If I can do it alone (2018) with just the Forum guide, then anyone can... and the guide is terrific.
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Yay, catching up, just coming into O Barco, seeing pilgrims ahead. . . .

This is wonderful, so enjoying the company along the way, reminiscing, re meeting the same dogs, remembering to feel brave, repeating 'I am a strong woman', picking cherries and getting excited again.
Time for a quick nap, then I might need to comment on a couple of things....
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Day 4. Sobradelo or O Barco de Valdeorras to A Rúa (23 from Sobradelo, 14 from O Barco)

If you stay in Sobradelo, your main choice is to do a very short day to Barco (about 9 km), or to continue on to A Rúa, for a total of 23. That is within the “25 km a day” guidelines, but I have to say that in some ways it’s a shame to miss Barco and its lovely and very lively river promenade! And for those who like getting totally out of the “typical stage” routine, the forum guide shows you several other places between Barco and A Rúa where you can stay.

The slight bottleneck issue on this camino is that Barco to A Rúa is a short 14 kms, and going beyond A Rúa is complicated. But I’ll leave that for the next stage. In any event, I think it’s fair to say that nearly every Invierno pilgrim stays in A Rúa.

So, to set the stage for others to chime in, the walk from Barco has been changed in recent years and now leaves from along the river. The river walk is much more pleasant than the earlier marked route. There are only two caveats:

The first, as VN mentioned, is that the mojón that takes you off the river walk may be obscured by growth. It is immediately after the sanitary sewer plant, though, which is hard to miss, so keep your eyes out. Here is what I wrote when I walked in 2019:

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 another 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.

The second caveat is that if you have decided to spend the night in the very nice albergue in Xagoaza (which is a few kms beyond Barco, you cannot take this river route because it bypasses the turn-off for the albergue. That is all explained in the guide as well.

The walk into A Rúa does have some highway walking, with a fair amount of traffic. The Amigos are trying to find ways to re-route, but if you look at a map, it may be a challenge. And once you enter the urbanized area of A Rúa, you are still another good 20 minutes from the center, so be patient. This is another very nice, very lively town.

Shortly after the guide was finished, Asún closed her in-home albergue. Plans are underway for a pilgrim albergue but I have not found any recent update. The forum guide lists all of the options for sleeping, but I’ll let members chime in with their favorites.

My favorite is the Pillabán. It is a small rural hotel with about 6 rooms, nicely done. It is up near the church, very close to Asún’s home. It is a small hotel, about 6 rooms. I can’t remember the price, but they do a special for pilgrims. And below is a terrific restaurant.

There is a river walk in A Rúa, which is about a km from the center. I don’t think it’s as lively as Barco’s but it is nice. It is more in a park setting, whereas Barco’s is smack dab in the center of town. There are several bars for enjoying a nice afternoon.

Ok, there you have the nuts and bolts, time for others’ opinions and reflections!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@peregrina2000 mentioned she stayed at Pillban in A Rua. Does anyone else have recommendations there, or pictures on f the place they stayed in?
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@peregrina2000 mentioned she stayed at Pillban in A Rua. Does anyone else have recommendations there, or pictures on f the place they stayed in?
Hi, Marbe,

First some pictures of the walk into A Rúa

E05F4B83-D32E-45D5-B989-909C9A1ADA91.jpeg 4C34E56B-96C9-430E-B31A-616265F2EC83.jpeg F10E06E3-EFFD-406C-AE66-898B107F8F7C.jpeg

The shoulder is wide enough to be a comfortable place to walk when you get to the busier road, but there is a shorter stretch that is more dangerous, closer to town itself.

As you come into A Rúa, you will see a sign directing to you a CR, which is, according to Charrito and maybe others, very nice. But it is a bit out of town, I’ve attached a google map showing the distance to the town hall. On that map, you can also see where Pillabán is, also not in the center, but much closer. The Camino passes about three steps away from the Pillabán, though, so it is great for the morning departure.

02992B82-C395-422C-B713-A708D1809196.jpeg 06C5C0BF-0084-4C6D-8D9C-FE0EBE377093.png

And for some reason, I have several pictures of the Pillabán, maybe because I got there so early and was hanging around a lot. The room, as you can see is fine, and there is a common area with TV and nice chairs and a balcony. My room also had a balcony, and I’ve attached a shot from it. The owners were busy getting ready for the “Camino de Santiago pub crawl” and didn’t have the restaurant open for lunch, but he said he would make me something, and it lasted me for two days! Simple, but it was good, good quality, and fresh. I had a couple of his “pub crawl tapas” at night (all bars were offering their show-off tapas) which were excellent. I really would love to eat a real cooked meal there because I think it must be terrific.

89A00D17-818D-46C3-BDFB-ECFF7D23CE80.jpeg E62C968D-6E7D-4609-A79F-FF7CB885D8B3.jpeg 77B2499B-6B32-4125-B276-4170DF73C134.jpeg 299F512F-83CC-4546-9937-F1F4B1F10534.jpeg
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
If I can do it alone (2018) with just the Forum guide, then anyone can... and the guide is terrific.
Amen to both of these. Me too. If I can, anyone can. I was more spooked by having pathetic language skills than many other things, but it was no problem.
And the guide is definitely terrific!
The first, as VN mentioned, is that the mojón that takes you off the river walk may be obscured by growth. It is immediately after the sanitary sewer plant, though, which is hard to miss, so keep your eyes out.
Here's the promised photo:
20190606_151013.jpg
I went wrong because the two-track road was much more obvious than the overgrown path we were directed onto.

The Lakefront walk was very quiet in O Barco:
20190606_102547.jpg

Then after that leaving and rejoining the rivrer. The last bit into A Rua was hairy - a curve with no shoulder and fast traffic. I do hope they manage to find an alternative!
20190606_115307 - Copy.jpg 20190606_125746.jpg

The way I came into a Rua was first through part of the outskirts of town with a lovely old church and a Roman tablet — and then cutting across vineyards above the town eventually arriving to where Laurie stayed with its nearby church.:
20190606_131919.jpg 20190606_132146.jpg 20190606_135036.jpg 20190607_080519.jpg

Does anyone else have recommendations there, or pictures on f the place they stayed in?
Pension Niza here. Right in town and quite adequate, but no pictures, sorry. Here's what I wrote at the time about this stage:
The first part of the day was a treat, going up out of Sobradelo, with a view back to the beautiful bridge, and then on to the slightly quirky village of Entoma. They were gussying the place up, putting down pavers on the camino route, and there were pieces of camino art here and there. (Funny, how pretty comes before albergues, but that is another story.) The town had a lovely feel to it.

Once out of Sobradelo, the valley widens more and more, and vines appear. The nicest part of the day was right after Entoma, as the path goes up and behind some vineyards and along a dirt road lined with pine and oaks. Wow! They were cork oaks - mostly teenagers, but one was quite big - with scars from recent bark harvesting.

Eventually the way rejoined the road, and never left it for long after that all the way to A Rua, with the exception of the riverfront esplanades in A Barco and Vilamartin. Sometimes the way was sandwiched between the rail line and the autovia, a bit like the early stages of the Vasco. So the section after Vilamartin felt like such a relief, since the autovia was behind thick shrubbery, and only the rail line was nearby. While walking the long straight stretch there, I was wishing a train would come by and hey presto, one did - a gratifyingly long freight train going towards Ponferrada. The driver blew the horn, I waved and grinned back, and we went our separate ways.

Soon after that, the way came to the dam and hydro plant, and that was where I had a classic camino 'right place, right time' experience. A car came across the bridge, and stopped at the intersection just as I got there. It was an official Ayutamiento car, and the driver leaned across the passenger seat to ask if I wanted a sello! Well, of course! I managed to navigate the basic questions - where had I walked from today, where did I start, where was I from, where was I wslking today, and are there any problems on the Invierno? To that I just gave two big thumbs-up - Vilamartin has an albergue after all, so there was no need to ask. But I did wish that I had better Spanish so that I could have given longer and more detailed feedback. I mean, how often does a government official actually care what I think?! He and the cheerful train driver made my day.

Going up on the road and around to A Rua after that was 'interesting,' since there was no shoulder and a drop-off to the rail lines, with the cars zooming past coming out of A Rua. Mercifully, it was short.

And then, A Rua, which starts suddenly as you come aroud the corner. There is no Asun and her albergue anymore, and the town was going into siesta mode. No visitor information, no nada. I went down to the Pension Niza to find the door locked, but luck again - just as I sat on a bench nearby a dignified señor opened the door. The place is run by an elderly couple who both speak very good French, Antonio and Lorraina. 25€ gets me an enormous double bed in a room with an attached bath. And a long talk with her. They are both so friendly and kind, with old-school manners.

So after a delicious lunch at Bar Pepa, all I have to do is wait out the rain, and pray it passes quickly. The owners here said Marisqueria Peyma is the fantastic place to eat, but it's a seafood place, so I can't speak from experience. But check it out, you who are behind me!
 
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ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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
A Rua:I stayed at hostel Niza very near the railwaystation. Simple, but Ok room,cheap, friendly, hosts seemed to be an old couple, with an Englishspeaking young woman in reception. She took the phone when I called to book. Very easy for me beeing near the railway, coming back from Montefurado by train and leaving the next day by train to catch up with the camino at Montefurado. Nice restarea in A Rua a short walk from the Renfestation
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
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.
@peregrina2000 mentioned she stayed at Pillban in A Rua. Does anyone else have recommendations there, or pictures on f the place they stayed in?
It's impossible to improve on the photos taken by VN and peregrina 2000
We didn't take as many as it meant having to take the iPad in and out of the rucksack and we'd sort of given up using the smartphone by then!
Those that we did take I got printed and put in an album.

I think the walk from O Barco to A Rua was about 13-14km but it felt like a lot more due to the heat

It was a lovely walk along by the side of the river, and there...after Arcos we met 2 ladies out for their walk and chatted until we got to Vilamartin...coffee was mentioned although we had read that Bar el Castillo was closed until 11 am .....they wouldn't hear of it and steered us off to the cafe!!! ......closed!!

They really were so funny and practically frog marched us to the next cafe and off they went! We had a lovely stop there and met the hospitaleria from the albergue...later on, she showed us around the building
Here we met our first pilgrim...an Italian man who seemed to be carrying the " kitchen sink" he had so much hanging off of his rucksack.

We had already booked the Pension Fabio which was about 2 km further on and at the top of the town and because we thought we knew better had not veered right and followed the Camino which does not actually go into the centre of town.
Now in the Live forum thread that I was writing each day I wrote "Pension Fabio ...not so Fabio" which was a bit unfair of me simply because if we had followed the Forum PDF we'd have known how to get back on the Camino from the Pension....more like a Hotel really.
It was only when we got home here that I found a map, and Bad Pilgrim sent a post....

Initially we had intended to walk that day to Montefurado and back by the evening train but the heat and 7 more km of Tarmac put us off a bit.
As well as that there was much backwards and forwards to the town centre as there were no cafes around the hotel area.
Mostly we just read and relaxed in the main square and explored the town.
Also confusion reigned as to how to get back on the Camino from the hotel at that time ...our fault really...should have learned how to do Google Maps!!

Unfortunately all the restaurants we tried did not open for evening meal before 8 pm ...a bit late for us so we went to the supermarket near the station and got some bits to eat.
The cafe opposite the station arranged for a taxi the next morning as the next days walk would have been too long as we had booked beyond Quiroga and the temperature was forecast to be 33-34 degrees.
image.png image.png image.png
 
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O Barco de Valdeorras to A Rúa

Leaving town is easy - just go to the river and walk, keeping it to your left. Keep an eye out for the right turn, off of the river path, onto Camino Praia de Ouro. There is a mojón there but I almost missed it because it was quite overgrown - both the mojón and the path.

A pleasant easy walk today, mostly on tarmac. It was a day for stork babies. These little ones just after Arcos as you turn off the paved road.

obar1.jpg

Nearing Vilamartin, all along the river and continuing on, are nice views with picnic areas.

obar10.jpg

Two interesting bridges. On the left a suspension footbridge and on the right, the Santiago Bridge over the River Lor which flows into the Sil.

obar8.JPG obar5.jpg

Side Note: In his new guide, John Brierley describes a route from O Barco along the other side of the river (Option B Camino Natura) that sounds quite nice. If that route was taken, the main route would be rejoined by crossing the suspension footbridge above at Penouta.

obar12.jpg

Nearing the dam and spillway of the Embalse de Santiago, there were several people fishing.

obar11.jpg obar11.JPG
After the dam, there is a long stretch along a quiet road marked at the beginning with a snazzy new mojón.

obar9.jpg

The last stretch into A Rúa along the road demands care and attention as there is no shoulder and a drop off to your left. Stunning views which are a distraction (for me! ) so stay vigilant!

obar7.JPG

I stayed out of town at the Casa Rural Palacio do Sil, (40 euro) a restored farmhouse and large garden with fruit trees surrounded by a high slate wall, with the very welcoming hosts Julia and Alban. Julia made a delicious dinner and I enjoyed talking with them and learning about the history of the house and area. When the house was restored in 2006, copper coins minted in 1743 were found between one of the stone walls but due to an original clay oven in the kitchen it’s thought the farm is much older.

A quiet restful stay there but because it was out of town I do regret not having the chance to explore A Rúa. Palacio do Sil is well situated for getting back on the camino.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
In his new guide, John Brierley describes a route from O Barco along the other side of the river (Option B Camino Natura) that sounds quite nice. If that route was taken, the main route would be rejoined by crossing the suspension footbridge above at Penouta.

Oh, great, access to a Brierley Invierno guide! I have never used a Brierley guide, and just looking at the text you showed, it’s a bit disjointed,IMO. But I digress. That alternative takes you to a very nice looking Pazo, but then you would miss the Barco sanitary plant. 😁

Does the Brierley guide typically include nice little detours like this?

I have, I think, discovered that the Brierley Invierno guide is selling 8 copies a month on Amazon. Not exactly enough to produce a crowd, but I wonder if places like Ivar’s store are better sales spots for him.
 

jerbear

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
I am making the executive decision that we have had enough discussion of visiting Las Médulas. To summarize the high points

Accommodations
Hotel Medulio not recommended and may be closed anyway
Casa Socorro — most popular pilgrim place, rooms in a house with kitchen, 25€ for single, or thereabouts; no Tuesday closure, but currently closed because of family illness
Hotel Rural Agoga — very nice, restaurant with good menú del día, open all days, good breakfast, a bit pricey

Meals
As a tourist destination, there are lots of restaurants for the day trippers. For some reason, many/most close on Tuesdays. This can be confirmed by scrolling through TripAdvisor, where people give bad reviews to the Marife restaurant, noting that they had few choices because it was a Tuesday.

Tourist sites
The Aula Arqueológica is right at the entrance to town, near the Hotel Medulio. Good displays, very interesting. Hours here.

Visitor‘s center further along in town near the church. Hours here.

The gallery (tunnel) is closed on Tuesdays. Entrance and ticket office (there’s a very small fee) is next to the Mirador/viewing spot Orellán. Information and hours here.

But, as @Theatregal ’s experience shows, you just cannot be sure that even published hours will be adhered to. Many of these are small scale operations, and if the guy who is supposed to show up on Sunday is sick, the place will not open on Sunday. In Médulas, that’s less of a problem, because most of the beauty is outdoors. But you just have to be prepared.

If you see a mistake or have anything to add to this post, please send it to me in a PM.

So, tomorrow we will carry on, leaving Médulas behind. I really hope people can cool down and realize that everyone is describing their own personal experiences. No one is trying to deceive anyone or lie to anyone.

Most importantly, this is supposed to be FUN, not stressful and filled with sniping.

Buen camino, Laurie
 
The only other Brierley guide I've used was for the Frances. I bought this one to support the Forum store and because I attended a Canadian Company of Pilgrims event that he spoke at in 2019 where he talked about the Invierno guide in process. I was curious to see it after walking.

Yes, he does always include options and detours which, I agree, makes the guide a bit disjointed. I do find it a bit confusing comparing the different options. IMO the forum guide (🙏) for the Invierno is much clearer and more straightforward. I do like the historical information and maps for each stage in the Brierley guides.

Thank goodness I didn't know about this detour and miss the sanitary plant :)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
John Brierley’s new book arrived this morning via Amazon. The book actually has two caminos - The Sanabres and the Invierno.

@Annette london Brierley calculates that with ascents, the OBarco....to A Rua route is 16.1 km, 570 meter climb, adjusting, as he does for height....so that may be why it felt longer. His O Barco map would have been helpful...at least it will be for me.

Brierley lists the section from A Rua to Quiroga at 28.4km but with altitude adjustment at 35.8km with an ascent of 1,480 meters! We will definitely have to split the day in two! After hearing comment from @ranthr re her reaction to staying in Soldon, we will approach the day, as if we were starting in SJPdP, and stop in Montefurado, then return to A Rua or actually walk a bit further and arrange for a taxi both ways...it would be worth it.
@VNwalking Thanks for the pictures I see why you had trouble getting out of OBarco.....

@Theatregal I see the alternative path on Brierley’s nature way... looks like a good option!

@perergrina2000 Probably would be cooler to stay closer to the water.... but must be clean above all! Still hoping for a recommendation in A Rua in a place that might have some shade around it...I know there won’t be AC so in case it is hot we might find some relief.
..if anyone has pictues...please post them..would be much appreciated.
Thank you for all your help... it is coming together!
 
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C clearly

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Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The descriptions above have quite confused me. I cannot locate the sanitary plant, the overgrown mojon, or the key right turn that takes you off the river walk. I'm sure I could, eventually, figure it out, but can someone help here?

However, I happen to be a fan of Brierley's guides and have his new one in front of me now. With it, I think I have sorted out the options:.
  • His "grey" route which seems to be the one most common on Wikilocs. He includes an option to go up to the albergue in Xagoaza.
  • His "orange" normal route, which might be the @Theatregal is describing as going to the river and walking out of town.
  • His "green" route on the other side of the river, which comes back to the north side of the river just before Villamartin.
That's why I like his maps.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I can’t see the maps, but assuming you have described them correctly, here are my comments.

Do not take the grey route unless you want to go to Zagoaza to sleep. It is the most common on wikilocs only because it was the marked route until a year or two ago.

The orange route is the one that goes by the sanitary plant.

I’ve enlarged a wikiloc shot and you can see the plant and the turn to the right, away from the river.

CF171008-4C66-41C2-A815-518D0098681B.png
 

Flogwail

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
Oh, great, access to a Brierley Invierno guide! I have never used a Brierley guide, and just looking at the text you showed, it’s a bit disjointed,IMO. But I digress. That alternative takes you to a very nice looking Pazo, but then you would miss the Barco sanitary plant. 😁

Does the Brierley guide typically include nice little detours like this?

I have, I think, discovered that the Brierley Invierno guide is selling 8 copies a month on Amazon. Not exactly enough to produce a crowd, but I wonder if places like Ivar’s store are better sales spots for him.
I bought the Brierley guide a couple of months ago and have barely flicked through it yet, as I don't usually torment myself with planning too far ahead. But I have used his guides in the past and I do like his simple format and his maps/profiles are clear. Folks seem to love/hate his books in equal measure!!
That said, this thread is another great resource, and is bringing the route alive in a way I don't believe guide books can!!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
VN,

Well, I can’t find that church. It’s definitely not the one in the attached map. (picture on left of google maps shot). You can see its relationship to the Fátima church on the map, which is the one next to Pillabán.
View attachment 91962

And it’s not the San Roque.

View attachment 91965

And the only other ones I see are back by the dam, and that’s way too far out, I think. (no one has photographed them, though, so I can’t compare).

View attachment 91966

So my question is where is that church and what is its name? I see how coming into town from the top, close to the N-120, would bring you through small vineyards, but I just can’t find that church and its Roman tablet.
@peregrina2000
I remember quite vividly the Roman plaque on the wall next to a church in A Rua. It seems to me that the church was located only a short distance uphill from the main street, Rua San Roque. The only church that I can see in that location on Google Maps is Santo Estevo. You have said that this cannot be the church, because of its relationship to the Fatima Church, but the church near the Fatima Church is San Esteban, not Santo Estevo. Most likely, I have got this all wrong, because my sense of direction is somewhat faulty, but I thought I might as well mention it.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
Thank you! I do plan on staying in Villavieja, walking there from Molinaseca. Great to know the scary dog is gone.
We are planning to walk the Invierno this coming fall, if possible pandemic-wise. We are planning this same stage -- Molinasca to Villavieja. It looks to be about 26.5 km which is slightly longer than our perferred limit of 25 km, but still doable for us. Then we plan to walk only as far as Las Medulas -- this should give us plenty of time to rest from our two long stages (Rabanal to Molinaseca and Molinaseca to Villavieja) and also to visit the castle and the mines at Las Medulas.
 
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Rowena

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2015, 2018) Le Puy-SJPP(2016) Geneva Way(2017) Portugués Muxia Fisterra(2019) Invierno(2021)
We are planning to walk the Invierno this coming fall, if possible pandemic-wise. We are planning this same stage -- Molinasca to Villavieja. It looks to be about 26.5 km which is slightly longer than our perferred limit of 25 km, but still doable for us. Then we plan to walk only as far as Las Medulas -- this should give us plenty of time to rest from our two long stages (Rabanal to Molinaseca and Molinaseca to Villavieja) and also to visit the castle and the mines at Las Medulas.

Hi Liz,
I’m hoping for spring 2022. I have calculated it to be about 21.5 km from Molinaseca to Villavieja. According to the Brierley guide for the Camino Frances, it is 5.3 km to Ponferrada, and Gronze indicates 16 more to Villavieja. The truth probably lies somewhere between my estimate and yours.
Maybe @peregrina2000 can clarify?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
I learned that trick when I walked the Levante with two Frenchmen and it is a very good thing to do!
This made me laugh and brought back a fun little camino memory. On our very first camino we met a lovely young woman from South Africa the first day. We all stayed in Roncesvalles and woke up with the singing the following morning. It was early April and still quite drack outside. Our South African friend left ahead of us and returned about five minutes later. I joked "that was a quick trip" and she responded "I don't know which way to go!"
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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 descriptions above have quite confused me. I cannot locate the sanitary plant, the overgrown mojon, or the key right turn that takes you off the river walk. I'm sure I could, eventually, figure it out, but can someone help here?

However, I happen to be a fan of Brierley's guides and have his new one in front of me now. With it, I think I have sorted out the options:.
  • His "grey" route which seems to be the one most common on Wikilocs. He includes an option to go up to the albergue in Xagoaza.
  • His "orange" normal route, which might be the @Theatregal is describing as going to the river and walking out of town.
  • His "green" route on the other side of the river, which comes back to the north side of the river just before Villamartin.
That's why I like his maps.
The orange route in this map in the Brierley guide is the one some locals told me was the new route out of O Barco. At the end of Paseo Malecon there was a small blue or green brigde over a little stream, but you will still have the river on your left .
On the wise pilgrim app there is 4th way out of town. The route there through town is along a main street Avenida do Conde de Fenosa and Avenida de Galicia.
 

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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I bought the Brierley guide a couple of months ago and have barely flicked through it yet, as I don't usually torment myself with planning too far ahead. But I have used his guides in the past and I do like his simple format and his maps/profiles are clear. Folks seem to love/hate his books in equal measure!!
That said, this thread is another great resource, and is bringing the route alive in a way I don't believe guide books can!!
I agree. The 2019 guide on-line here is an excellent source...with lots of detail that Brierley does’t provide. This posting is also an excellent source with lots of great tips, wonderful photos, and housing recommendations! I do like the clarity of Brierley’s maps and graphs. When I first do a route, using both sides of of paper, I copy the Maps and graphs. Therefore, 24 sections is 12 sheets. When I finish the two stages I throw that sheet away. We split the weight so I carry six pages. In addition, I photograph the pages and Gronze’s info so I do not need internet to access the information. This time I will condense all of the information from this thread and the 2019 guide and will add that as well.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
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.
John Brierley’s new book arrived this morning via Amazon. The book actually has two caminos - The Sanabres and the Invierno.

@Annette london Brierley calculates that with ascents, the OBarco....to A Rua route is 16.1 km, 570 meter climb, adjusting, as he does for height....so that may be why it felt longer. His O Barco map would have been helpful...at least it will be for me.

Brierley lists the section from A Rua to Quiroga at 28.4km but with altitude adjustment at 35.8km with an ascent of 1,480 meters! We will definitely have to split the day in two! After hearing comment from @ranthr re her reaction to staying in Soldon, we will approach the day, as if we were starting in SJPdP, and stop in Montefurado, then return to A Rua or actually walk a bit further and arrange for a taxi both ways...it would be worth it.
@VNwalking Thanks for the pictures I see why you had trouble getting out of OBarco.....

@Theatregal I see the alternative path on Brierley’s nature way... looks like a good option!

@perergrina2000 Probably would be cooler to stay closer to the water.... but must be clean above all! Still hoping for a recommendation in A Rua in a place that might have some shade around it...I know there won’t be AC so in case it is hot we might find some relief.
..if anyone has pictues...please post them..would be much appreciated.
Thank you for all your help... it is coming together!
Hi Marbe,
Thanks for the update on the mileage...sounds about right.
It was the smartphone that said 12 ......we ditched it after A Rua!!

The Fabio Hostal has air con and was spotless, and the cafe nearest to the Hostal at the station, as well as those in the square have plenty of shade
Not walking the 7 km to Montefurado enabled us to walk beyond Quiroga..more in the next stage update

Looking at the above page of Brierleys book would certainly have caused us mucho confusion so I think we'll be keeping to the forum PDF!!...no problem even with VNs hidden mojon and apart from that turning, getting out of O Barco was easy ..even for us

PS.....the Gronz site has got some pretty good elevation maps
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@Annette london what time in the morning did you take the taxi?

Thanks for info re Fabio Hostal. It looks fine! Having AC possibility will be a good option if needed!

I also do copy Gronze’s elevation window at the same time as the Map. One of the things I like about Gronze’s website that it is easy to go from the city location map to the linked location on google maps, so it opens right up!
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I remember quite vividly the Roman plaque on the wall next to a church in A Rua. It seems to me that the church was located only a short distance uphill from the main street, Rua San Roque. The only church that I can see in that location on Google Maps is Santo Estevo.

In a now deleted post of mine, I caused confusion about the church VN is describing. @Albertagirl is right that it is Santo Estevo where VN saw the Roman plaque. I have it on very good authority from an anonymous source. :D Very sorry for the confusion.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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.
@Annette london what time in the morning did you take the taxi?

Thanks for info re Fabio Hostal.
Got it at 8 am but I'm sure that it could be arranged for whatever time you'd like
I did read/see somewhere that a bus went from O Barco via A Rua train station to Montefurido (often these buses stop on the main road at the turning to a village) I've had a look on the Internet re this but can't find anything as yet although I have seen a timetable "somewhere"
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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.
This made me laugh and brought back a fun little camino memory. On our very first camino we met a lovely young woman from South Africa the first day. We all stayed in Roncesvalles and woke up with the singing the following morning. It was early April and still quite drack outside. Our South African friend left ahead of us and returned about five minutes later. I joked "that was a quick trip" and she responded "I don't know which way to go!"
Ha, good one
well a few years ,we went one better..or worse depending on ones way of looking at it! Even had a map of Burgos with the Camino marked on it
Coming out of a Pension in Burgos we turned right...this is definitely the way!!
5km later we noticed the round sculpture that we'd passed the day before!
Laugh or cry, a bit of both.had to get a bus back into the centre
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Great stream of posts. Interesting how we each react to different towns. What can be the best day for one person may be the worst for another.. So many factors... our individual likes and expectations, how we are feeling and how we've slept on any particular day, interactions with people, and luck. It's fascinating.
O Barco was not my favourite 'spot', but then I find it easy to be 'lonely' in a crowd. The best 'stays' for me are often hostals or casa rurals or albergues in the tiniest villages which can be very warm and easy, especially when the accomm also provides yummy meals.

In Barco I stayed in Tortuga, OK but the room stuffy. Breakfast, yes, I seem to remember, was great. Next time I think the albergue out of town must be worth checking out. The short stage from Barco to A Rua seemed much longer to me than its 14-16km?? and I stopped often, along the river, to rest a painful ankle. Meeting another pilgrim along the busy road section was a bonus and we both went on to stay at Asun's albergue, along with 3 or 4 others. Am sorry to hear she closed her albergue and hope she and her mother are OK. What a character! She was so kind and helpful.

Thanks for sharing the pics Laurie, VN Walking and others. I recognise Pillaban, where a simple but wonderful meal was produced even though they were very busy with a festival crowd. I didn't realise there were rooms available up top... probably very noisy that night... next time will try.

Asun will be missed by the camino folks. In the morning after the other pilgrims had left she treated my ankle with her magic potions and stretches, said I needed at least one rest day. I didn't take much convincing but didn't have the luxury of a spare day so when she said I could tag along while she drove her mother to Quiroga I went. What a fast ride by a very little lady (with a problem leg) down that mountain road!
I will definitely need to break that 28km into 2 shorter stages next time.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Ha, good one
well a few years ,we went one better..or worse depending on ones way of looking at it! Even had a map of Burgos with the Camino marked on it
Coming out of a Pension in Burgos we turned right...this is definitely the way!!
5km later we noticed the round sculpture that we'd passed the day before!
Laugh or cry, a bit of both.had to get a bus back into the centre
Annette,
Your are a better woman than I! I take the earliest bus I can out of Burgos or Leon and get off near or close to the city boundaries. One time, we walked outside our lodgings in Pamplona planning to walk early and the city was so thick with fog we got in a cab that we luckily stumbled across (as we were lost) and paid the driver a fair tip to take us to the city limit on the Camino road-which he did. Thankfully, he pointed us in the right direction.... ...
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
ARua to Quioga route question?
As an alternative, has anyone just walked from ARua to Quiroga using N 120. Looking at Gronze’s map linked to the towns...the elevation near N 120 appears to a relatively low stable 300 -350 meters much of the way? It looks like a small
valley running through a small mountaineous area. Am I wrong? This would likely have been the original route of pilgrims - Taking flatter land and near the river for water? if we follow N120 there may not be as much a need to do so much climbing that day? There also appears to be at least one or two places to stop along the road for refreshments. Please correct me if I am wrong about any of this. This might work out well for those of us early morning risers.

According to google maps circa 16km from A Rua there is a restaurant, Restaurante Pazo do Sil, opens at 8am (closed Mondays). Then there appears, at Soldon, about 2km further to be some kind of a stand right on 120N, called Chiringuito Soldon, which appears to be more of a seasonal place...looks like you maybe can take a dip in the water there. (18km from A Rua.). From there its 7km on 120N into Quiroga according to Google maps.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
As an alternative, has anyone just walked from ARua to Quiroga using N 120.
No, and I would never have considered it—it's a busy road, with lots of trucks. For all the small ups and downs of this stage, it's one of the most beautiful of the whole journey. Not to be missed!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
No, and I would never have considered it—it's a busy road, with lots of trucks. For all the small ups and downs of this stage, it's one of the most beautiful of the whole journey. Not to be

I understand your response completely. I agree, most of the time the perspectve from the trail is far more beautiful and may provide more shade in the summer. And I understand your real concern for walking on N 120. Thanks.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
The book actually has two caminos - The Sanabres and the Invierno.
Strictly speaking, it has 1.8 Caminos, since the last 20% of the Invierno is the same as the Sanabres.
Pedant, me? No. I just believe in truth in advertising.
 
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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.
ARua to Quioga route question?
As an alternative, has anyone just walked from ARua to Quiroga using N 120. Looking at Gronze’s map linked to the towns...the elevation near N 120 appears to a relatively low stable 300 -350 meters much of the way? It looks like a small
valley running through a small mountaineous area. Am I wrong? This would likely have been the original route of pilgrims - Taking flatter land and near the river for water? if we follow N120 there may not be as much a need to do so much climbing that day? There also appears to be at least one or two places to stop along the road for refreshments. Please correct me if I am wrong about any of this. This might work out well for those of us early morning risers.

According to google maps circa 16km from A Rua there is a restaurant, Restaurante Pazo do Sil, opens at 8am (closed Mondays). Then there appears, at Soldon, about 2km further to be some kind of a stand right on 120N, called Chiringuito Soldon, which appears to be more of a seasonal place...looks like you maybe can take a dip in the water there. (18km from A Rua.). From there its 7km on 120N into Quiroga according to Google maps.
Hi Marbe
VN is right...never walk on a busy road if it can be avoided
Also that would be murder on the feet...all Tarmac

If you did want to shorten the day then a better option might be to miss the 7km Tarmac bit to Montefurado
And the way from A Rua onwards is a wonderful days walking.....

Hold your horses now!!!
All will be revealed when peregrina 2000 gets to the next stage .....patience girl!!!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Strictly speaking, it has 1.8 Caminos, since the last 20% of the Invierno is the same as the Sanabres.
Pedant, me? No. I just believe in truth in advertising.
Regarding the Brierley guide - "Camino Sanabres and Camino Invierno" - let's be more precise! 😇

The guide covers the portion of the Sanabres only from Ourense. If you take out the part that duplicates the Invierno, calculate against the full Sanabres from Granja de Moreruela, and consider that 1 Camino = 1 Camino, no matter how long it is, the guide covers only about 1.16 Caminos.

Nevertheless, I am very impressed with how effective his maps are, for me, especially after doing several virtual caminos this past year without such a guide. Doing this research on a thread such as this is more fun while we are in isolation, and the additional insights and impressions are very interesting, but I'll be carrying my Brierley (minus some unnecessary sections) when I walk. I just like it!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Regarding the Brierley guide - "Camino Sanabres and Camino Invierno" - let's be more precise! 😇

The guide covers the portion of the Sanabres only from Ourense. If you take out the part that duplicates the Invierno, calculate against the full Sanabres from Granja de Moreruela, and consider that 1 Camino = 1 Camino, no matter how long it is, the guide covers only about 1.16 Caminos.

Nevertheless, I am very impressed with how effective his maps are, for me, especially after doing several virtual caminos this past year without such a guide. Doing this research on a thread such as this is more fun while we are in isolation, and the additional insights and impressions are very interesting, but I'll be carrying my Brierley (minus some unnecessary section) when I walk. I just like it!

@C clearly I very much agree about Brierleys Maps! It really simplifies things for me.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
Day 1. Ponferrada to Borrenes (23 km)

No need to introduce people to Ponferrada, the starting point. Lots to enjoy there, so maybe a rest day is in the cards before starting!

The first day has a fairly hefty ascent, up to the Castle of Cornatel, then down to Borrenes.

If you want to shorten the first day more, there is also a public albergue in Villavieja, about 16 km from Ponferrada. Villavieja is a charming little village (with no services), a bit below the castle. It is where the serfs and other castle support lived. The albergue had very spotty and sometimes shoddy service, but the license has recently been awarded to a new person and she gets very good reviews.

If you continue on to Borrenes, you will pass the castle and then have an on-the-road (not heavily traveled road) walk down to Borrenes. There used to be an off-road option, but the motocross people ruined it. In Borrenes, Marisol has accommodation for pilgrims. I’m not sure it is a full-blown albergue yet, but there are places to sleep.

The only debate I can remember over this part has to do with whether it’s worth it to visit the Castle of Cornatel. I have visited it once, but did not return on subsequent visits, mainly because of timing. You can climb around a bit, and there are some nice views, but it isn’t a full blown castle renovation liked Zamora or any of the many castles you guys have probably visited on different caminos.

The other point where people have had very different experiences has to do with bars. There is a good availability along the entire route, but opening times are typically later in the morning than you may see on other caminos. So if you leave early, you are going to find fewer options. In my several Inviernos, I have only found one bar open in between Ponferrada and Borrenes, but I leave early.

Hoping that others will now chime in with suggestions, questions, comments!

Buen camino, Laurie
Thank you for this thread. I have tried to plan 20-25 km a few times and thought that if we couldn't walk short days there are in places the opportunity to stay more than a night and walk in the AM, and take a train back to the start and return the next AM. It has been awhile since I looked since we really cannot walk but I will now look again. 🙂
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Nevertheless, I am very impressed with how effective his maps are, for me, especially after doing several virtual caminos this past year without such a guide. Doing this research on a thread such as this is more fun while we are in isolation, and the additional insights and impressions are very interesting, but I'll be carrying my Brierley (minus some unnecessary sections) when I walk. I just like it!
Sounds like I need to order Brierley's guide for the maps.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I don't like knowing too much about a camino before I walk it!
Even though I participate in these planning threads, and keep a careful spreadsheet of the towns and distances, I don't actually look at all the photos that are posted, I don't take detailed notes with me, and I certainly don't remember all the detail! I have a few landmarks noted on the spreadsheet, but once I start walking, I am usually too tired on a daily basis and too busy putting one foot in front of the other, to refer back to detailed notes. Furthermore, I don't even remember in detail about where I've been! I'm not sure whether this is mindfulness, or the opposite (mindlessness?)!

Edited to add: So far, my approach has been successful, as I have never been bored by what I find on the ground.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
A Rúa to Quiroga (26 km)

A Rúa to Quiroga is 26 km. It’s a beautiful stage, especially the first part. Lots of views down to the Sil River. Much of what used to be a LOT of road walking (on untraveled roads) has been taken off road, though there is still a fair amount. Even though the distance is just a bit over the 25 km goal, many people have broken it up into shorter stages. Here are several ways to do that:

1. Train option (thanks, Charrito). Arrive in A Rúa after 14 km from Barco. Leave your backpack in your pensión or hotel. Walk 10 km on to Montefurado. Take the 6:14 pm train back to A Rúa. The next morning, catch the 10 am train to Montefurado and carry on.

2. Second train option. If you sleep in A Rúa and want to walk to Montefurado the next day and return again to A Rúa to sleep, the best option would be to spend the morning in A Rúa doing chores, and then walk the 10 km in the afternoon. Otherwise, you are going to have a LONG wait in Montefurado. The only train option is at 6:14 pm.

3. A Rúa to Soldón is about 20. The apartamentos available for rent are described in detail on p. 23 of the guide. @ranthr and others can chime in with opinions. Soldón is surely a very tiny village without anything going on. But the apartamentos look nice, the owners will do grocery shopping for you, and it is directly on the camino. In summer, it will be a lot more lively, because of the chirringuito (bar) right on the river. The huge pylons that support the highway overhead don’t add to the charm, but they did give shade on a hot sunny day. I have never slept in these apartments, but I spoke with the owner in 2019 when I walked through, and he seemed very nice and interested in pilgrims.

If you choose to go all the way to Quiroga, you will go up and down to the river a couple of times, through nice little hamlets, along the river with gorgeous views, and through vineyards during the latter parts of the stage.

I know that some have shortened the stage into Quiroga a bit by going directly into town along the side of the highway. It’s the LU- 933, which you have been following for kms since leaving A Rúa. A little before Soldón, the 933 merges with the national highway N 120, so the traffic picks up. If you stay on the road, you will not visit the castle of Torrenovas, which isn’t in great shape, but the walk from there has some really pretty parts through green woods and bubbling brooks.

Lots of lodging options in Quiroga, so we are open for opinions! There is a youth hostel, so beware of large exuberant groups of young people. My go-to place is the Quiper, all details in the guide. And hands down my favorite restaurant is the Aroza, which is a little off the main drag. On my first Invierno in 2008, a Cuban woman in a small grocery shop recommended that I try it. That was after we had decided that if the powers that be left it to us, we could figure out how to restore harmony between our respective countries.

I like the town of Quiroga a lot. But in 2019, I walked 2 kms further on to San Clodio, the place where Quiroga’s train station is located. There is a very nice 1 star hotel, the Hotel las Vegas, good food, lovely enclosed outdoor shaded terrace. After a lunch there, I walked down to the river “beach”, where lots of people were enjoying the late afternoon. I also walked out to the church, which has a remnant or two of Romanesque, but wasn’t a must-see site.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Updated train and bus info from a forum member.

I will edit the earlier post to correct it.

Train from Montefurado back to A Rúa: 18.24 from Montefurado, 18.33 into A Rúa.

Train from A Rúa to Montefurado: 07.09 from A Rúa, 07.18 into Montefurado
Bus from A Rúa to Montefurado: 08.10 from A Rúa, 08.20 into Montefurado*

*This bus invariably turns up late. It turned up in A Rúa at 08.45 the last time I caught it.

The railway station and bus station are right next to each other, just a few yards down the pedestrianised street from Hostal Niza.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@Kanga I respect your approach to walking a Camino. I like, however, being oriented,...somewhat able to “recognize” without a sign, where I am when I get to a town. Anticipatory planning is valuable and helpful if one desires to reserve airline tickets, ground transportation, reserve accommodations, plan rest days, conserve enough energy and allot a bit of time to visit a few cultural and religious sites and services along the journey. That still leaves rooms for lots of spontaneous decisions, since our plans almost always need adjustment when we are there. We opt out of many sites, at the last minute because of weather, fatigue, last minute better options, or, medical concerns, etc.

For us, this approach is freeing, not-limiting, in that we are pretty sure of where we are going and where we will stay. Therefore, for the most part, this allows us to let go while walking leisurely.

@C clearly The pictues posted, for me, are quite valuable. There is something to the idiom, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.... Sometimes they are waymarkers, helping me to discern the best way to go, or can prevent me from getting lost. They are also cultural, and spiritual invitations. What initially attracted me to first visit The Louvre Museum was reading, and, yes, having seen a print of the Mona Lisa somewhere else. For me, that image did not lessen my experience of seeing the original. So, I really welcome and carefully view all of those pictures being posted here.

The best part of this website is that there is so much information we can mine in various ways, and adapt to our needs to make our caminos more meaningful.
 
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Updated train and bus info from a forum member.

I will edit the earlier post to correct it.

Train from Montefurado back to A Rúa: 18.24 from Montefurado, 18.33 into A Rúa.

Train from A Rúa to Montefurado: 07.09 from A Rúa, 07.18 into Montefurado
Bus from A Rúa to Montefurado: 08.10 from A Rúa, 08.20 into Montefurado*

*This bus invariably turns up late. It turned up in A Rúa at 08.45 the last time I caught it.

The railway station and bus station are right next to each other, just a few yards down the pedestrianised street from Hostal Niza.
Yo soy el 'forum member'. De nada.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Laurie, we haven't mentioned Sr. Casimiro in Montefurado! It sounds like one could spend many hours waiting for the train, entertained by him. He wasn't around the day I went through, which was a disappointment. But Montefurado was a fascinating Village with history going way back to the Romans trying to change the course of the Rio Sil. One thought is if somebody wanted to to take the train from Montefurado back to A Rúa, that might give time to check out the Roman riverworks. It's super close to the Village:
Screenshot_20210126-184805_OsmAnd.jpg

This is such a wonderful stage with so many memories of things that stick in the mind — the quirky art along the way between Aurora and Os Albaredos (including those creepy eyes! :eek:), the magnificent views of the river bends, going in and out of little stream valleys feeding into the river, Montefurado, and much more.
20190607_081314 - Copy - Copy.jpg 20190607_090638 - Copy - Copy.jpg 20190607_092619 - Copy.jpg 20190607_092958.jpg 20190607_094422 - Copy.jpg 20190607_103314.jpg 20190607_110259.jpg 20190607_110441 - Copy.jpg
The huge pylons that support the highway overhead don’t add to the charm, but they did give shade on a hot sunny day.
And protection from the pouring rain, too!

but the walk from there has some really pretty parts through green woods and bubbling brooks.
I loved the remnants of very old cart tracks we follow a couple of places today: leaving Montefurado, and after the castle are the two spots that come to mind. You can see the grooves in the rock from the passage of thousands of cart wheels.

I walked 2 kms further on to San Clodio
If you intend to walk the entire distance to Monforte a the next day, this is a great idea because it takes two kilometers off the distance. I stopped in Barxa do Lor at Pension Pacita (highly recommended!), so I wasn't tempted. Plus I wanted to eat at Aroza since it was so highly recommended. The latter was disappointing — for vegetarians it was absolutely nothing special.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Too many photos for one post!
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20190607_160442.jpg

Fun fact:
Once one of the most prolific Spanish olive oil producing regions, catastrophe struck in the late fifteenth century when the Crown ordered the felling of practically all the trees in the Valley of Quiroga in the province of Lugo. This was intended as a right royal slap in the face for the local feudal lords who had committed the heinously treasonous act of backing the wrong horse during the dynastic wars of the period. Thankfully, a few of these olive bearing beauties survived in the more remote parts of the valley, thus providing the seed for the quiet resurgence of the variety in recent times
From:

You pass an old stone olive press along the way.

Near Quiroga, wasn't there an old pilgrim's hospital? I can't find the post where we talked about it and nothing comes up when I search. But a number of the small settlements to your right before you get there seem all under the jurisdiction of O Hospital - so my OSMand map says, anyway.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Near Quiroga, wasn't there an old pilgrim's hospital?

Yes, the guide mentions the hospital ruins. So far as I know, @Theatregal was the only forum member who has made some effort to find it.



Laurie, we haven't mentioned Sr. Casimiro in Montefurado! It sounds like one could spend many hours waiting for the train, entertained by him.

I like to keep the first post about the stage to the basic nuts and bolts and leave some of the memories for later. And you are right, this is one of those wonderful memories. I described my visit with this kind and friendly man in my “live” thread. We heard from a forum member that he was doing well this past fall.

1611667728255.jpeg
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Adding to Laurie’s walking options between A Rua to Quiroga,
There appears to be a taxi service in Montefurado, if your an early walker and do not want to wait for the train to return to A Rua the name is taxi Pedro Lopez. Maybe someone has used it? If this is your first camino, do call ahead and arrange and confirm pick up times and location since the Taxi service driver may not be available the time you need him without prearranging the service.
In addition there are 4 or 5 taxi services in Quiroga. If you start in A Rua and are running out of gas, Soldon would probably be a good location to get picked up.

According to Charrito, there is a bus company that goes between A Rua and Quiroga. He says it goes on to A Pobra do Brollón, Monforte de Lemos and Ourense. Charrito indicates that if you buy a ticket to Quiroga but want to get off at Soldon, to ask the driver, and he will likely let you off. Ask before you get on the bus, of course.

@Charrito , I hope I understood this correctly.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Speaking of “old pilgrims hospitals”.Does anyone know where one would go if in need of medical services. Are there clinics/ medical services that anyone has used beyond Ponferrada?
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Never had to, but O Barco, A Rua, and Lalin are biggish places with Centros de Salud. And Monforte de Lemos (even bigger still) has a hospital.
 
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MikeJS

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
I remember the route as being a lovely simple walk - well marked and lovely scenery.

In 2017 I stayed in the Albergue and wrote - The albergue in Quiroga is massive and as others have mentioned can be busy with lots of school visits. That was true today, a Saturday, but the lady at the check in desk was aware of the problem and gave me a dormitory well away from the children. I was in a room with 16 beds all to myself! Limited hot water and the water is rust coloured but otherwise fine."

When I was there I walked around for quite a while in the evening, about 1930 to 2100 ish, and failed to find somewhere to get a good hot meal. There were quite a few closed up and apparently shut down. However, from more recent posts I understand things had improved again. No problem for me as I simply resorted to my standard alternative and had a La Dia picnic again.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I walked into Quiroga at sunset, with no clear idea as to where I would stay and the Albergue in the back of my mind as a possibility. I had got briefly turned around walking into town and a woman out gardening pointed me towards the main road into town. She suggested the bar across the road for dinner. At the bar, I had a generous meal and was invited to stay in a house directly across the road, where I spent the night in a large private room (bathroom down the hall) for 10 euros. Much better than a youth hostel.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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
I do recommend point 1 in Laurie’s post. ( Thanks to Charrito!)
After arriving from O Barco, I left my things in Hostal Niza, had some lunch, and walked on to Montefurado in the afternoon. Nice walk. Arrived an hour before trainscedule, but there where places to sit and rest.
Be aware that the train stops at the next platform, not the nearest.
I stayed in A Rua 2 nights ( Sunday with pulpos in every bar). Took the train back to Montefurado at 10, 7 had been a better option.
The walk from Montefurado to Soldon was nice, but next time I will stay on the road when the camino takes off through wood with lots of ups and downs before Bendillo. I see that on the map 04 in the Brierley guide the camino follows the road, not the way offroad.
Sarah saw a boar with piglets on the same road after Montefurado!

I do not have much to tell about Soldon since I cancelled my booking there. I arrived there in the aftenoon during a shower, had a break under the bridge and walked on. The place looked empty.
In Quiroga I went on to San Clodio where I stayed in Hotel Las Vegas.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I do recommend point 1 in Laurie’s post. ( Thanks to Charrito!)
After arriving from O Barco, I left my things in Hostal Niza, had some lunch, and walked on to Montefurado in the afternoon. Nice walk. Arrived an hour before trainscedule, but there where places to sit and rest.
Be aware that the train stops at the next platform, not the nearest.
I stayed in A Rua 2 nights ( Sunday with pulpos in every bar). Took the train back to Montefurado at 10, 7 had been a better option.
The walk from Montefurado to Soldon was nice, but next time I will stay on the road when the camino takes off through wood with lots of ups and downs before Bendillo. I see that on the map 04 in the Brierley guide the camino follows the road, not the way offroad.
Sarah saw a boar with piglets on the same road after Montefurado!

I do not have much to tell about Soldon since I cancelled my booking there. I arrived there in the aftenoon during a shower, had a break under the bridge and walked on. The place looked empty.
In Quiroga I went on to San Clodio where I stayed in Hotel Las Vegas.
Oh Yes....,🤭🤭🤭 I saw the boar with piglets on Sara’s (Dhooma) Video of the Invierno. Would not like to have such an encounter.... encountering wolves on the CF up near Foncebadon was enough!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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.
Wonderful photos VN....these are making me far too nostalgic now, almost like mspath in her thread" the Solace of Memory"
At the time we had not realised that the train left A Rua around 7am otherwise we would have been on it ....as forecast was for heat...and it was one of the hottest days at 34 degrees! ......
Apparently it was even hotter for those on the CF at nearly 40 degrees.Seems the Invierno was spared from the worst of the heatwave that year

Although the Fabio was a lovely hotel, there was no place to dry the washing so the heat was a bonus that day in order to hang the clothes on the mobile, walking dryer called Charlie! ....thank heavens for safety pins
Oh and by the way......note the forum guide tucked into the side of the rucksack....looking now at the state of it in front of me ...a new printout needed!

Arriving in Montefurad, we found the village eerily quiet.we explored the outside of the church and the small narrow streets/lanes.
I've written that this was the" best days scenery so far"..and "sheltered"

I can't really remember a lot do tarmac that day ...the forum guide said"it's a slog on asphalt from the village of Hermidon" .I've written on my printout that "the Camino leaves the road about 3km before Bendillo and onto a lovely grassy path" ...it felt like a carpet until we arrived in Bendillo.

Soldon was quiet too but lovely to sit by the river
Some villages passed but no place for a coffee until Quiroga where we had a stop at the first cafe on the outskirts of the town
The town was very quiet when we arrived early afternoon ....went into the supermarket on the main road for some bits and pieces

We'd already booked the Las Vegas hotel in San Clodio, mainly because the forum guide mentioned a lovely shady garden which it was and a lifesaver on perhaps the hottest day we'd experiences so far...there are a few cafes in the village also but due to tired feet and the heat, we stayed put in the garden!

PS....I've looked on Gronz site and can't see either the Las Vegas hotel or the village of San Clodio
Marbe...attaching some photos of the hotel and garden ....they are from the Internet in case people interested in this particular hotel image.png image.png image.png
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
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.
Regarding the Brierley guide - "Camino Sanabres and Camino Invierno" - let's be more precise! 😇

The guide covers the portion of the Sanabres only from Ourense. If you take out the part that duplicates the Invierno, calculate against the full Sanabres from Granja de Moreruela, and consider that 1 Camino = 1 Camino, no matter how long it is, the guide covers only about 1.16 Caminos.

Nevertheless, I am very impressed with how effective his maps are, for me, especially after doing several virtual caminos this past year without such a guide. Doing this research on a thread such as this is more fun while we are in isolation, and the additional insights and impressions are very interesting, but I'll be carrying my Brierley (minus some unnecessary sections) when I walk. I just like it!
C clearly Marbe and Ranthr
Reading all the posts regarding the Brierley guide, I think I will get the book for those maps.
Brierley maps plus forum guide....the perfect companions!
 
A Rúa to Quiroga.

My longest walking day and one of my favourites on this camino. A wonderful day full of interesting places and diversity of terrain and paths. Lots of twists and turns but well marked along the way. There weren’t any bars or cafés on this stage so bring food for the day. There were places to fill up water bottles.

The walk to Albaredos along the twisty, ascending quiet road above the Rio Sil is lovely. Along the way painted figures of animals, faces, eyes, waymarks started to appear (continuing through Albaredos)...
arua4.JPG arua3.JPG arua7.jpg
...and along the descending cart track to the valley bottom at El Molino, leading to and through the semi-abandoned village of Montefurado.
arua6.jpg arua.jpg
The green, rocky path leading up and out of Montefurado was in great shape. This path had been reported as muddy and overgrown in some of the accounts I’d read, but was fine on this day. Looked like it had recently been cleared. I enjoyed the next km’s along the winding undulating asphalt road. Some gorgeous views along the way with a wide variety of beautiful, delicate wildflowers bordering the road.
arua9.jpg
The camino leaves the road 2 or 3 km’s before Bendilló and winds along a beautiful soft path through a forest and then rejoins the road at Bendilló. There is a long steep descent from Bendilló to the highway N-120 with beautiful views as a distraction from joint stress!
aru3.jpg aru2.jpg

In June 2019, there appeared to be a route change (from that listed in the forum guide) once the descending path joins the highway.

The old route was still marked. There are yellow arrows painted on the road that take you across the highway (N-120) and onto an access road into Soldón. There is also now a new mojón that keeps you on the right side of the highway and immediately ascends a steep hill up and beside the right side of the N-120. I didn’t feel like climbing at that point and decided to stick with the old waymarking crossing to the left side of the highway. It was just fine. The first part of the path was a bit overgrown until it joined a tarmac road into Soldon. I expect with the new routing, it may not be maintained and will eventually become completely overgrown. I don’t know where the new ascending route on the right side of the highway ultimately goes. I couldn’t see any place where it would enter Soldon so maybe it bypasses the town now?

Waymarking had also been reported as confusing through Soldón but this must have been corrected because it was very clear.

Wonderful 1st view of the Castillo de Torrenovaes and then the changing views of it as the path winds down and around to Caspedro.
arua10.JPG
I did have plans to take the detour at Caspedro to find the old pilgrim hospital but I never did see any signs pointing the way. Ultimately at that point I was too tired to backtrack and try to find it.

At the end of this long day, it was so great walking into Quiroga along the straight main street that led directly to accommodation, grocery stores, bank, cafes.

I stayed at the Hostal Quiper – 17 Euro, private room with bathroom and a bar / café downstairs. Had a very good dinner at the Restaurante Aroza near the Plaza Mayor.
 
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CaroleH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
@VNwalking and @Theatregal ... Your photos are great and show me that I really need to return to the Invierno if only to do that stage I missed between A Rua and Quiroga. Fab views. Fun artworks. Thank you. I find that the more I learn about a place before I get there, the more I enjoy it once there and the deeper the experience. The knowledge is invaluable and the experience richer. Apart from that, I love the research and anticipation before hand and then don't blink and miss things at the time... which I can do easily. And often do, esp when tired.

Lots of lodging options in Quiroga, so we are open for opinions! There is a youth hostel, so beware of large exuberant groups of young people. My go-to place is the Quiper, all details in the guide. And hands down my favorite restaurant is the Aroza, which is a little off the main drag. On my first Invierno in 2008, a Cuban woman in a small grocery shop recommended that I try it. That was after we had decided that if the powers that be left it to us, we could figure out how to restore harmony between our respective countries.

I stayed in the Municipal Albergue (youth hostel?) in Quiroga. Had a twin room to myself with a big bathroom and bath. 10Euro. It was huge and fabulous, a converted high school (can't miss it, on main street, painted blue) and I thoroughly recommend it... maybe I was lucky, no big school groups that night, just about 5 pilgrims in other rooms. Also Asun (from Albergue in A Rua) actually checked me in with the hospitalero so that was lucky. She also took me to a Naturopath Clinic for massage and acupuncture. Highly recommend that also. Had a 'fun' time there. Very painful but effective acupuncture and a local girl, who spoke excellent English, maybe daughter of the Cuban shop owner Laurie!! as my interpreter. I remember a lot of laughing.... and pain.

Recommend Restaurant O Rox Vivo ( possibly called Aroza), just around corner from Albergue and near Clinic. Lunch there in 2018 for 10E, including wine, was brilliant. There are other places to eat, bars etc on the long main street. I really liked Quiroga, not least because there was some company that evening with a couple of pilgrims I'd met up with the night before... a nice rest day, or half day rest.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
At the time we had not realised that the train left A Rua around 7am otherwise we would have been on it ....as forecast was for heat.
Hi, Annette,
My understanding is that the time of the train has changed and there is no longer a train at 10 just one a day, as before, with an earlier time of departure.


ARua to Quioga route question?
As an alternative, has anyone just walked from ARua to Quiroga using N 120. Looking at Gronze’s map linked to the towns..

I have gotten clarifying information on this option. There is a virtually traffic-free asphalt road that runs parallel to the N-120. You can see it on google maps.

After Soldón, there is completely deserted tarmac side road parallel to N-120. First for a little while on its right side and then all the way to parque industrial in Quiroga on its left side where you go through underpass and to Quiroga.

So that is another option for those who find themselves dragging at the end of the day.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Hi, Annette,
My understanding is that the time of the train has changed and there is no longer a train at 10 just one a day, as before, with an earlier time of departure.




I have gotten clarifying information on this option. There is a virtually traffic-free asphalt road that runs parallel to the N-120. You can see it on google maps.

After Soldón, there is completely deserted tarmac side road parallel to N-120. First for a little while on its right side and then all the way to parque industrial in Quiroga on its left side where you go through underpass and to Quiroga.

So that is another option for those who find themselves dragging at the end of the day.

So, to summarize, Laurie, your contact(s) are reporting, that starting @ Soldon we can add an additional option of taking an abandoned road per the above directions into Quiroga avoiding the last ups and downs... if we are Kaputt!!
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
This is NOT TRUE! Believe me.
A mystery! It is good to set off on a Camino with some unknowns to discover in person.

Friendly corrections are welcome, but there will be no exam. The more important purpose of this thread is to share our experiences, impressions, information and questions with a group of virtual friends.

Ultreia!
 

Flogwail

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
You will now see why I decided NOT to continue participating in this thread. It seems that some people aren't grateful for up-to-date, accurate informati
I for one welcome your positive contributions to help compile this really useful resource, and I'm following it eagerly, but do you really feel you are owed a debt of gratitude for your trouble and that everyone should just follow your directions without questioning? We all find our way eventually, it's part of the fun, and it should be fun. Just my own opinion..
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
it should be fun.
That is my bottom line as well. I know that there are forum members who are now reluctant to post for fear that they will be aggressively contradicted. I am going to leave the last few posts up for now, so that we can all see what is going on. I am also asking that those people who realize that the whole point is to share our experiences, give the best information we can, and want to continue to share — please continue to do so!

We are doing our best to help each other and have a little fun in the process.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
That is my bottom line as well. I know that there are forum members who are now reluctant to post for fear that they will be aggressively contradicted. I am going to leave the last few posts up for now, so that we can all see what is going on. I am also asking that those people who realize that the whole point is to share our experiences, give the best information we can, and want to continue to share — please continue to do so!

We are doing our best to help each other and have a little fun in the process.
I am actually looking forward to walking the Invierno, because of all of you.... ....hopefully in Sept. if not then, in Oct or Nov...or ..whenever the plane doors to the Atlantic open up...your unique experiences, ideas and recommendations will go with me and I am so grateful for them. I hope we can continue this journey all the way to Santiago together!
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
This stream is great fun and so very informative. Thanks all. I'd given up looking at the Forum very much because of the uncertainties of covid, but now am enjoying reminiscing and sharing with all of you knowledgeable people. You are all making this informative and worthwhile ...I'm loving it.

However,I don't wish to get too excited, nor to make any definite plans about any camino or Spain as I am trying to be philosophical about the future of travel. I suspect it's going to be a long time (maybe years) before we all can safely travel anywhere, and before Australian borders are even open. Even though I'm still hoping i'll be an eccentric 80 yr old walking caminos, I' m now mid 70s and I have to be realistic....

As well, we all know infrastructure along the various routes is already changing because of the pandemic, with some accommodations closing or already closed, train times altering, etc This is a lovely reminisce and planning conversation but we need to remember that plans made now may not be suitable next year or the years after.... we can only hope and dream, have fun and be philosophical.

Just my thoughts...
 

Flogwail

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
As well, we all know infrastructure along the various routes is already changing because of the pandemic, with some accommodations closing or already closed, train times altering, etc This is a lovely reminisce and planning conversation but we need to remember that plans made now may not be suitable next year or the years after.... we can only hope and dream, have fun and be philosophical.

Just my thoughts...
Very good points, and easy to lose sight of....regarding any kind of planning these days, everything is in a constant state of flux....
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Quiroga to Pobra de Brollón (23 km)

In keeping with the 25 km and under guideline, this stage ends in Pobra de Brollón. But people planning this camino should keep in mind that a mere 12 kms beyond Pobra is the very nice small city of Monforte de Lemos, with things to see and do, all services. So on the assumption that there are many who will want to stop in Monforte but who don’t want to walk 35 kms in one day, I’ve added some options for stopping before Pobra de Brollón, which would cut the Quiroga to Monforte stage into two more equal halves.

Quiroga to Pobra de Brollón used to be the perfect 23 km stage. Nice off-road walking, some very pretty little hamlets, a bar along the way, and a welcoming pensión at the end of the day. All is still the same except that the pensión has closed, and the town is trying hard to provide a replacement. There is currently an option in the polideportivo, which is reported to be fine, and there are reports about a real albergue.

The town’s website, in galego, describes the “provisional albergue” (closed for covid) and confirms that the permanent albergue is still in the works.

Forum members have described two additional options for stopping before Pobra:

VN stayed in Pensión Pacita, which is a few hundred meters off the camino, close to the very pretty hamlet of Barxa do Lor. There is a very visible sign directing you on the Camino. This option gives you about a 15 km day from Quiroga, and then 20 kms the next day into Monforte de Lemos.

Charrito recommends going off-route to Salcedo, with its nice casa rural.

It looks to me like there are three ways to get to Salcedo—

— take a marked trail from Barxa do Lor direct to Salcedo. This is about 8 km, I think, and you can see a wikiloc circle trail from Barxa. You would, of course, only walk the right half up to Salcedo. It looks like this trail goes along the river through woods.​

— stay on the camino till Castroncelos and then walk on a rural road. From Castroncelos to Salcedo is about 4 km, and I remember seeing the road sign at the turnoff.​

— ask the owner to come pick you up somewhere on the camino, either Castroncelos or Pobra de Brollón, I assume. Annette reported a pick-up in Castroncelos and is quite positive about this option.​

As far as the walk itself, it is very nice. If you have stayed in the town of Quiroga, you are likely to have several coffee options (breakfast is included in the Quiper so I have never had to hunt – and they will leave it out for you the night before). Early morning coffee is also available at the Hotel Las Vegas, which is in San Clodio, two km further along. The hotel is across from the railroad station, so there is early traffic there. Though San Clodio is on the official route, you merely cross the river, walk through San Clodio, and then cross the river again, so those who don’t want coffee may just keep straight on.

There are two ascents between Quiroga and Pobra de Brollón. The first is after San Clodio, and takes you through a timber forest, and the second is after Barxa de Lor.

The highlight of the day would have to be Barxa do Lor — a little hamlet with some abandoned buildings that seem romantic, given their proximity to the river. But of course I know they are a sad sign of rural decline. The bridge itself is medieval, I believe. Rebekah and I once took a long rest there right at river’s edge and I we traipsed through an abandoned mill right on the water.

One thing to alert you to is the angry barking dog just as you are approaching Barxa do Lor. You can see the bridge ahead of you, but the specific name of the dog’s hamlet is Labrada. This dog is one for the record books, but everyone who has seen him confirms that he is always on a chain. I never saw this dog on my first two Inviernos. But the last time I passed by, the owner was actually out there with the chained dog at his side. The owner’s presence had no impact on the dog’s fierce barking, lunging, and growling, and the owner himself appeared unconcerned.

Pobra de Brollón is a very simpatico place. If you are there in the summer, you can enjoy the afternoon at the local park where the river has been dammed up to make a public swimming hole. There are cafés and a small grocery store or two. People are very nice, and pilgrims are very welcome.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
VN stayed in Pensión Pacita, which is a few hundred meters off the camino, close to the very pretty hamlet of Barxa do Lor.
Also @Theatregal.
I really loved this place, and the friendly family feeling. It broke up the stage nicely, and means you tackle the hill after BdL first thing in the morning. It's extremely quiet here, but I like that.

I stayed in the albergue in Quiroga, and vaguely remember stopping at a bar on the same side of the street for breakfast that morning. It didn't make a huge impression, because I can't remember any details. What I do remember about this stage is crossing the river into San Clodio, which seemed a pretty place, and then what felt like a long walk uphill through the pine plantation. It's biologically boring, but the light was pretty. The views as you get higher and emerge into a meadow were very nice.

Barxa do Lor is sweet, but now mostly bypassed by the newer superhighway that sails past it.

Then another climb, and the second 'different universe' experience on this camino. We've left the Sil Valley, and the particular feeling of the communities there (which I can't find a way to describe), and emerge into full-on Galicia — gone are the pine plantations, the Vineyards, and the slate plants; suddenly we emerge from the valley into in dairy country. Cows, green pastures, oak trees, and blooming broom.

Pobra was a much bigger place than Barxa do Lor, an actual happening town. The bar I stopped at for cafe was a busy and upbeat place, but once again my timing was crummy and not much else was open in town.

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