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

Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Torre Vilariño to Chantada
This was a 'Wow!" day all day long: The dew-bedazled walk to Diomondi with the view ahead towards Monte Faro, Diomondi itself, the beautiful descent on the old road to the river (with the 'ta-daa' reveal at the end), then the zig-zag climb up the other side, finally looking back to the other side. (Culminating with being interviewed by a reporter for the Vox de Galicia as I slouched into town after all that looking, suitably pilgrimesque...🤣)

I've attached a photo of the turn-off to Diomondi at the bus stop and 100km marker...don't miss it! We all love the cows on either side of the side door, but the lupos gracing the main entrance are wonderful too. The message being "Mind your ps and qs, children, or else..."
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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)
Dogs do not generally worry me and I did not have any particular problems on the Invierno. I tend to carry dog treats to encourage best behaviour. However, they do seem to be more of a potential problem on the less walked routes. I walked the Olvidado in 2019 and on the Olea to Aguilar de Campoo stretch I had a real problem. I was walking through a wide open area just after leaving Olea where animals were grazing and there were three large dogs - I think to protect the farm animals. They were obviously free to roam and were not happy with me being on their land. All 3 came running fast towards me and I had to resort to throwing a large rock at the more aggressive of the 3. One stalked me for about 1km until I left their range. In the end they were just doing their job, but it was off putting. However, that was the only dog incident on that camino and it is very underused route.
 

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
Years ago, I was very involved in the conversation about the big barking mastiff in Villavieja, and I am so glad that has been resolved. But he was nothing compared to this. My first experience with the dog outside Barxa do Lor (sometimes two dogs) was on my third Invierno, so I really lucked out the first two times. This was probably the scariest dog experience I’ve ever had on a camino, even though he was chained. But I am hopeful that some official involvement will help with that.

Do you know where the other dogs were that attacked the people you met? I think that, in general, the Invierno is no “worse” than any other untraveled camino in rural Spain in terms of loose dogs. After many years of paralyzing fear, I’ve gotten to the point that I can walk past some loose barking dogs without feeling my heart jump through my chest. @Rebekah Scott was a very good teacher.
One forum member wrote that he had been attacked by dogs outside the fence of the Fabrica between Cornatel and Borrenes. The gate was open and the dogs were unchained.
When I passed by, the dogs were inside and the gate was closed. So I guess he was the inlucky guy that day. I would not have liked to meet them.
Since I did not walk through Barxa do Lor, I did not meet those dogs, but they were part of my reason
why I took the train in the fog.
I am really not afraid of dogs, have had some of them big dogs myself, but after hearing about all the bad dogs in the forum, the beeingafraidofdogsvirus stuck me. I brought a dazzler, but never used it. Met some barking dogs along the camino but those I met unchained could be noisy but not dangerous.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I hope that these threads on dogs don’t give the impression that every time you turn the corner, there are loose dogs chasing you on the Invierno. I’ve walked the Invierno three times — twice the mastiff was out in Villavieja, once I had the experience outside Barxa do Lor. And that’s it. It is true that landowners in rural Spain and particularly farmers have dogs and those dogs may be out and about when we pass. But I think that when we pull together all our experiences — one person saw a loose dog here, one saw a loose dog there, etc, you get a very different sense of the situation than if you were walking and had one or two experiences. It is also true that as caminos get more popular, owners take different approaches with their dogs because they realize that people are walking through.

And I think it’s helpful to re-read the comments from a forum member who dealt with her own fears, which I put in the guide:

I encountered so many loose dogs and very nearly gave up due to a fear that was becoming
irrational. I finally, on day 3, talked myself through the facts: these dogs are here to guard
cows/sheep/property. If I am not threatening the cows/sheep/property, then they will not attack me. No farmer would let a human-killer dog run free. So I started to talk to each dog and told them what a good job they were doing protecting their cows/sheep/property and my fear left me. By the end I felt like the dog whisperer. I read on the forum that someone gave up several days in because of the dogs. It isn't necessary. They are intimidating, but they are not trained to attack innocent people walking down the road.

My own technique, when I just can’t bring myself to walk past a barking loose dog, is to stop and call out — Oiga! Inevitably the owner will appear, sometimes irritated, but I will say, sorry I am afraid of dogs. And inevitably the owner will say — No hace nada (he won’t do anything), and I smile and just repeat my request that they hold on to the dog till I pass.

So yes, there are loose dogs all over rural Spain, but it should not get in the way of your enjoyment of the Invierno or any other untraveled camino.
 

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!
Around 2013, I was reading about the CF, and there were all these wild dog warnings. It did make me pause and consider if this was a risk...and I am a dog lover. However, we have never really been in danger and they never impacted any of my caminos. I am always cautious, especially with a chained dog...not knowing a dogs history....but most dogs I have encountered seem unimpressed and most just want attention and love. Lots of the little ones are yappy. Many I pet and some I treat, especially when they look malnourished. If the dog seems menacing, I walk slowly and tell him/her s/he is a good dog in a calm sweet voice. Do not run! Do not look them in the eye. I slowly throw them a treat. If a dog does bite you and won’t let go, after a good wallop, go for the eyes where they are very vulnerable. Then do not leave the area, without checking if the dog has had its shots!

Sometimes when we stay at an establishment in a rural area, that has an unchained house/guard dog, I invest a little extra time petting it, if possible, and allowing it to smell me (poor thing) and become familiar with our scents. And this is because they are often outside early in the morning when we leave, before the owner gets up. We want to make sure the dog knows we are not a threat in the dark.
 
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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!
BTW, I have seen pictures and a video of wild boar on the Invierno. Sara’s video showed a wild boar with her piglet during the rutting season (Nov.-Jan.). I would be more concerned about one’s safety meeting a boar, especially if you are walking alone rather than a dog! Do you know what to do if you encounter them?
Some useful information! These you do not want to feed!
 

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
BTW, I have seen pictures and a video of wild boar on the Invierno. Sara’s video showed a wild boar with her piglet during the rutting season (Nov.-Jan.). I would be more concerned about one’s safety meeting a boar, especially if you are walking alone rather than a dog! Do you know what to do if you encounter them?
Some useful information! These you do not want to feed!
Even more concerned after reading this. 😨Saw a dead boar on the way between Rodeiro and Lalin, guess it was hit by a car.
 

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!
Thought this mght be interesting regarding boar as well.

 
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.
BTW, I have seen pictures and a video of wild boar on the Invierno. Sara’s video showed a wild boar with her piglet during the rutting season (Nov.-Jan.). I would be more concerned about one’s safety meeting a boar, especially if you are walking alone rather than a dog! Do you know what to do if you encounter them?
Some useful information! These you do not want to feed!
Wow, thank heavens I had not read this until now.! We knew nothing about wild boars before we went walking in Corsica a few years ago or we wouldn't have got anywhere........they were everywhere in the mountains. We passed hundreds of them for a few days and they took no notice of us as we flew by. They were too busy burrowing.Then the refuges would serve up a wild boar dish at night....every night!!!
Perhaps the French ones are more docile than the Spanish ones!!
 

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!
Wow, thank heavens I had not read this until now.! We knew nothing about wild boars before we went walking in Corsica a few years ago or we wouldn't have got anywhere........they were everywhere in the mountains. We passed hundreds of them for a few days and they took no notice of us as we flew by. They were too busy burrowing.Then the refuges would serve up a wild boar dish at night....every night!!!
Perhaps the French ones are more docile than the Spanish ones!!

I have seen them while driving in Italy and a couple while hiking in the Austrian and Swiss Alps. These are animals we definitely do not want to startle.
 
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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!
Torre Vilariño to Chantada
This was a 'Wow!" day all day long: The dew-bedazled walk to Diomondi with the view ahead towards Monte Faro, Diomondi itself, the beautiful descent on the old road to the river (with the 'ta-daa' reveal at the end), then the zig-zag climb up the other side, finally looking back to the other side. (Culminating with being interviewed by a reporter for the Vox de Galicia as I slouched into town after all that looking, suitably pilgrimesque...🤣)

I've attached a photo of the turn-off to Diomondi at the bus stop and 100km marker...don't miss it! We all love the cows on either side of the side door, but the lupos gracing the main entrance are wonderful too. The message being "Mind your ps and qs, children, or else..."
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I noted the picture with pieces of slate descending on the trail. Is this the trail down to Belesar? Is it a reasonable grade, with a wide traverse down? Or is the downhill a steep grade?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I saw them on the Invierno, too. After Monforte, I think betwen Moreda and Castrotane. Honestly, they were nothing to be frightened of. I was trying to get photographs, and they were doing everything they could to put distance between themselves and me. Pigs are not stupid, and in Spain people hunt them — surely they know we are trouble.

I noted the picture with pieces of slate descending on the trail. Is this the trail down to Belesar? Is it a reasonable grade, with a wide traverse down? Or is the downhill a steep grade?
Yes, that's where it is. And not to worry, that's not slate, it's old paving stones. I don't remember the grade as being at all difficult anywhere on that stretch. It was nothing at all like the stretches of the Francés going down to Zubiri or Molinaseca. You just have to be careful not to trip because the paving stones are irregular.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Chantada to Rodeiro (25 km)

If you decided to go on to Vilaseco, you’ll have an 18 km day. From either starting point, I think almost everyone stops in Rodeiro. The walk from there is very pleasant, though some of it is along a service road along a highway, and there is an INTERMINABLE couple of kms next to wind turbines. Looking at gronze, it may be as many as 5 or 6 km, so that would probably set a camino record.

From Chantada to Penasillás is mostly road walking, as I remember. At two spots, one leaving Chantada and one entering Penasillás, there are petos de ánimas (donation boxes for the souls in purgatory). They must be from the 17th or 18th century, with carvings of the souls in purgatory patiently awaiting your donations. It’s very pleasant, through a few hamlets, and on the service road for a larger highway. Penasillás has a very friendly bar, and it is there that the ascent to Monte Faro begins. Gronze (as well as our guide) shows you the way to avoid much of the ascent. It’s a tiny bit shorter and with less than half the elevation gain, on a local road.

The camino takes you up to the sacred spot. I’ve been told it’s the only spot from which you can see all the Galician provinces. It has been a holy place since well before the Romans, apparently, and someone in Chantada told me that a local had found a Roman coin up there. It’s a gradual ascent up (the Gronze map shows about 400 m ascent over about 5 km). If you want to get all the way to the top you have to go off camino when you see the large crucifixes (Stations of the Cross) on a grassy hill. It’s another few minutes from that spot. At the top, there is a recently restored hermitage, great views, and a very pretty old cruceiro (with Adam and Eve on the column covering themselves in shame). Soon after you go by the large picnic area, the wind turbines begin. It goes on for a pretty long while and it not the most spectacular part of the Camino. But when you finally emerge and cross the highway, there are a few nice villages, one with what I learned was a great place for a menú del día. I remember buying some great bread from a bakery in one of those hamlets, or was that on the way into Lalín on the next stage?

Rodeiro is a big-ish town, all services. The best restaurant in town, O Guerra, has closed, though the owners still rent out rooms in the building behind the old place. But the pensión, albergue, and café restaurante Carpinteiras on the top of the hill is where most pilgrims stay these days. It is a family run affair, two generations with the third in training, and grandma still does the cooking. When I was there, the albergue had just recently opened. Clean, modern, nice common areas. Really a nice spot.

As I sit here thinkng back on this stage, my memory is of a very comfortable and pleasant day, nothing spectacular, just a good day on the Invierno. A nice mix of terrain, some cardio to get up to the top, and only some annoying kilometers next to the wind turbines.
 

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
Chantada to Rodeiro.
Did not see much that day, so I might have to come back sometime in nice weather.
Stayed in Carpinteiras.
This was before they opened the albergue. Remember granny who made me a nice meal. The rest of the town seemed closed when I arrived probably during siesta on a Sunday.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
My memory of the descent to Belesar was, like many others here, that it wasn’t that tough or steep. And my memory of the descent into El Acebo is that it’s a killer. But it’s hard to argue with the facts— Gronze’s schematic profile shows that the descent into El Acebo is about 300 m down over about 4 km, while Diomondi to Belesar is 400 m descent over the same distance. It may also have to do with the terrain, rocky on the El Acebo descent, less so on Belesar. But for those who know these descents are outside their comfort or ability range, I think taking the road option described above would be prudent. You would miss Diomondi and the beautiul forest down to the river, but your knees might thank you.
 
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2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
my memory is of a very comfortable and pleasant day, nothing spectacular, just a good day on the Invierno. A nice mix of terrain, some cardio to get up to the top, and only some annoying kilometers next to the wind turbines.
Ditto.
I remember buying some great bread from a bakery in one of those hamlets
I was given the bread I tried to buy at the panaderia in one of those villages. It was utterly delicious!! I can't remember which one, but the camino went right by it.
Rodeiro is a big-ish town, all services.
Not to mention not to mention the Panaderia it's supplies the royal family with their bread everyday. That's the place I want to check out next time!
Really a nice spot.
I liked it too, especially the chatty and slightly bossy (in a good and quite funny way) abuela.

And here I will be a rebel and bring up this forbidden possibility: it's possible to completely avoid the windmills by doing this:
Screenshot_20210205-203231_OsmAnd.jpg
At the intersection of the camino with this road, there are a whole bunch of arrows telling you DO NOT DO THIS, but I figure with a sense of direction and a good map, why not? That section under the windmills was for me completely mind-numbing. I think part of the problem was that I resented going way North, only to have to backtrack to get to Rodiero. This way's more than 2km shorter and looks like a nice meander.

And, hey, I just noticed: what's that archaeological site near Rodeiro (the yellow circle in the map below)?? I got this wikiloc track going past a romanesque church to some petroglyphs when I googled, and they look very cool, but they aren't it. But (hee hee) they ARE very close to the alternative way down to Rodeiro (the orange pointer in the map above)!
Screenshot_20210205-201144_Photo Editor.jpg
[Edit: tonight I have a really really slow internet connection, so can't post photos. You can find them here, post #73.]
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Chantada to Rodeiro.
Did not see much that day, so I might have to come back sometime in nice weather.
Stayed in Carpinteiras.
This was before they opened the albergue. Remember granny who made me a nice meal. The rest of the town seemed closed when I arrived probably during siesta on a Sunday.

@ranthr, where are those wooden steps? They look very new, and I have no memory of them.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
At the intersection of the camino with this road, there are a whole bunch of arrows telling you DO NOT DO THIS, but I figure with a sense of direction and a good map, why not?

I have never taken that “forbidden route,” but remember that some forum members who had used it as a shortcut to Rodeiro got hopelessly lost on different small roads. Of course your GPS would eliminate that possibility.

It looks like the distance from where the turbines start to Rodeiro is about 11 or 12 kms. Your route is about 8.75 Compare the picture VN posted of what she proposes with the picture here of the wikiloc track. You can see that the standard camino route does take you north and then back south.


8DB87466-8DAB-43E3-90EA-64FC259870FA.png

This might be an exception to my rule to always take the off-road option. But all those kms alongside the turbines, though mostly on unpaved roads, were not inspiring. The Pazo de Camba is pretty, as is the countryside walk around there, and you would miss that, but on balance I might go for it next time.

BTW, I see that Pazo de Camba is now on booking as being available for rent (post Covid)! AirBnB lists it at $159 US per night. That is one gorgeous place, 6 guests three bedrooms. The 12th century tower and romanesque church within the walls can be visited. If you could find a group of 6, it comes out to about 22 € per person. For a beautifully restored 17th century estate, modern baths, gorgeous old fireplace. Wow!
 

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
@ranthr, where are those wooden steps? They look very new, and I have no memory of them.
The wooden steps were on the way down, since I did not go up to the Capela In the fog, I thought perhaps it was another path up to the top, I think I still could hear the sound of the windmills up there. It was before I crossed the bridge over po-533. This was in 2018.
When I look at the map in Brierley, it is markt as a fuente.
 

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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.
The wooden steps were on the way down, since I did not go up to the Capela In the fog, I thought perhaps it was another path up to the top, I think I still could hear the sound of the windmills up there. It was before I crossed the bridge over po-533. This was in 2018.
When I look at the map in Brierley, it is markt as a fuente.
Hi Ranthr and Laurie
Yes it is a fuente and the steps continue as a boardwalk along a little area of forest. There wasn't much water there however but we were in the middle of a heatwave that July.
I think there might even have been another stairway on that stretch but I can't quiet remember if indeed there was one
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
my memory is of a very comfortable and pleasant day
My memory is of the most unpleasant and dangerous day in all my camino walking. It poured rain all day (Nov. 5, 2019) and not a single pedestrian or vehicle passed me on the long walk through the park and past the windmills. I kept to the main camino route, as I saw it, and when there was a marked flight of steps up to the sanctuary I did not go up. I kept myself reasonably dry with my new raingear, and was very grateful for the excellent trail marking, as it was impossible to take out my phone to check my location in the downpour. I walked with extreme care, since I was not likely to be found by a passer-by after a fall or injury and could not call for help. Note: I did have my emergency beacon and could have set off the alarm, but I have no idea of the speed of a response. I was very aware of the lack of any shelter on the day's walk. I was pleased to see the windmills, as a mark of progress and ended my day in Hostal Carpinteiras at Rodeiro, glad it was over.
 
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.
We woke up to see a lot of mist on Mt Faro but by the time we arrived there it had cleared.
The uphill forest track was easy enough with lots of grass by the side for soft stepping
When we got to the Ermita just off the Camino and up on a lovely grassy path, we were delighted to see that the Ermita was open with a lot of renovations going on.
The inside was absolutely beautiful and the workmen put on the lights for us
We then walked around the area and could see for miles at the edge of the plateau.
We lit some candles and returned back the same way to continue on the Camino
We stopped once or twice to visit the Fuentes on the downhill path
Now I know that a lot of people find this a boring part of the Camino but we loved it as the fields and farms were visible for miles below us

Again, and although many do not like the sound of the wind turbines..l love to hear them whirring away...almost like a hypnotic melody
I even like the look of them....then again I like sci fi programmes of other worlds ...anyone remember Star Trek/Stargate!!!?

We then passed farmland with more lovely farm smells and ate lunch sitting on a farmers wall
Continuing up the lanes we were overjoyed to find a cafe at AFeria/Leboro hamlet although I have a feeling that we'd gone wrong here somewhere


As we were leaving, the Mayor of Rodeiro stopped in his Mercedes and offered us a lift to town...which we declined (wow, a lift in a Mercedes...any other time please!!)
I did however invite him to become Mayor of London!! image.png

Arrived at hostal Carpentias which we'booked the night before
It's well worth a stay for €40 B and B with private bathroom
A lovely meal was cooked by the Nana of the household...she was there for breakfast too and seemed to be doing most of the work in the bar......what's new there I ask you!!

There's a beautiful albergue on the first floor with cubicle showers , a seating area with a TV, a kitchen and a washing machine and dryer
It looked spotless and better than a lot of hotels/ Hostals we've stayed in
There is a nice seating area at the front of the Hostal

the town was very quiet when we arrived with few people around
It's a pleasant little place in the middle of the farming community
It was an enjoyable stay for us
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
it's possible to completely avoid the windmills by doing this:
I had a look at that route on Google maps street view. Although it involves road walking, there is likely not much traffic. However, from street view, it seems that there is often no shoulder to walk on - this can be hazardous if visibility is poor or if drivers are speeding. Maybe that is a reason not to use it. (But I only had a quick look, so it is worth looking more carefully.)
 
Penasillas to Rodeiro

The camino continues down a short lane from the Cantina O Peto. At the end of the lane, the gravel path almost immediately begins to ascend. From a house on the left at the start of the path, a woman leaned out of her upper window, waving and wishing me a good journey, pointing me in the right direction… straight up :)

It was a cool morning, dark clouds looming, with rain starting as I began the 5 km ascent on a gravel dirt path. I have to say that this was a tough day. The rain was intermittent with drizzle, then heavy downpour for several minutes and then drizzle again, throughout the climb.

There was one stretch of a km or so, leading up to a crossroads when the rain stopped for a bit and the road eased into more of a gentle up and down. There is a stone monolith here. Researching later, I learned it was a memorial to the poet Uxio Novoneyra, engraved with a poem by Pablo Rubén Eyre. I was surprised because they are both 20th century (Rubén Eyre also 21st century) poets. The monolith looked so much older!
pen9.jpg pen6.jpg
The climb continues from here on a quiet tarmac road. It was raining heavily again by the time I arrived at the stone steps on the left, leading up through a grassy area flanked by the Stations of the Cross. My shoes became completely soaked on this part of the climb up through the grass.
pen8.jpg
Despite the rain and fog, there was something eerily beautiful about this stretch between the stone steps and the Ermita. Very silent, other than the rain in the trees and some bird song until almost at the top when I started to hear hammering and power tools. The Ermita de Nosa Señora do Faro was getting a new roof!
pen5.jpg
Still very foggy at the top with no views to be seen. The ermita of course was not open but I spent some time exploring the site and the high point of Galicia, topped with lookout tower and weather station. With the cloud and fog still thick, it wasn’t possible to see the view of all four Galician provinces, but the fog had drifted giving a view of the ermita and it's surroundings.
pen2.jpg pen1.jpg
As I started the descent, it was still raining, though it had eased somewhat and I could see clearing in the clouds ahead. The next part of the walk (slog!) along the tarmac road and the almost 6 km of constant drone and hum from the ridge of windmills was the toughest part of the day. Perhaps because of the humidity and the on & off rain. Black flies were thick, swarming at times around my head and hands.
pen3.jpg
Midway down, the fog did begin to lift, revealing beautiful vistas.
pen4.jpg
It was a relief to finally reach the highway and continue on softer paths through farmland and hamlets.
pen10.jpg pen7.jpg
I stopped in A Feira at the Bar O Recanto, a couple of km’s before Rodeiro for a rest and a longed for café con leche. A wild little place that was! Seemed like all the men in town were coming in after their work day for a drink, chat, game of cards. It became obvious pretty quickly that I was sitting at a regular card game table. I moved with my coffee to the bar and my table was immediately full.

Fueled for the final stretch, I made my way into Rodeiro and quickly found my lodging for the night - the Hostal Carpinteiras. When I had left the bar in A Feira, a large group of cyclists passed me. I had booked to stay in the albergue at the hostal but it was almost completely taken up by the cyclists and their support team. They were a lively bunch so I decided, for the quiet, to take a single room with bathroom instead. (22 euro)

The menú del dia dinner at the hostal was excellent, starting with the best caldo galego I’ve had. At dinner I had a great talk with some of the cyclists who were from a women's cycling club in Madrid. There were 22 cyclists ranging in age from 20 to 65. They had started in Ponferrada. A good end to this day!
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
A further reflection on my post #321, about my unpleasant day walking from Chantada to Rodeiro. I think that my reflections may have come across as very negative. They were a response to @peregrina2000 's favourable comments on the day's walk, as I remembered how my experience was different from hers. I evaluated the dangers of the day, as I always do when I walk alone. I found it both unpleasant and a day when I became very aware that I was entirely dependent on myself in this solitary situation. However, thanks to my carefully chosen gear, I did not get wet through. I am always self-reliant (by choice) on my long walks, although they are seldom totally alone on camino. Except for the complete solitude, this day was little different from three quarters of my days on the Invierno, where I walked alone, mostly in the rain.
 
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Marbe2

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Based upon all of your input, We will stay overnight at Hotel Vilaseco. We are not keen on following the windmills. Instead, we will likely follow a combination of LU213 and CG2.1 and then hook up with the trail near the cruce As I look on Google maps there are two possibilities to stop after Vilaseco A pisada dos teus zapatos opens at 8:30am and is on LU213, about 2.5km from the hotel. Then another 3.1km down the mostly flat roads roads there is Braseria el Cañon de la Ribeira Sacra which opens at 11am. It is slightly off CG2.1 where it intersects with LUP-6001. It would then be an additional 8.5 km walk mostly after picking up the traditional Camino route again around Cruce to Bar Recanto which opens at 8am, leaving another 2.4 km to Alb. Carpinteiras, having arrive ved in Rodeiro.

What are the private rooms like at Carpinteriras?
 

Marbe2

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2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
My memory is of the most unpleasant and dangerous day in all my camino walking. It poured rain all day (Nov. 5, 2019) and not a single pedestrian or vehicle passed me on the long walk through the park and past the windmills. I kept to the main camino route, as I saw it, and when there was a marked flight of steps up to the sanctuary I did not go up. I kept myself reasonably dry with my new raingear, and was very grateful for the excellent trail marking, as it was impossible to take out my phone to check my location in the downpour. I walked with extreme care, since I was not likely to be found by a passer-by after a fall or injury and could not call for help. Note: I did have my emergency beacon and could have set off the alarm, but I have no idea of the speed of a response. I was very aware of the lack of any shelter on the day's walk. I was pleased to see the windmills, as a mark of progress and ended my day in Hostal Carpinteiras at Rodeiro, glad it was over.
What kind of personal locator beacon did you carry, Alberta girl?
 

Marbe2

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Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
A further reflection on my post #321, about my unpleasant day walking from Chantada to Rodeiro. I think that my reflections may have come across as very negative. They were a response to @peregrina2000 's favourable comments on the day's walk, as I remembered how my experience was different from hers. I evaluated the dangers of the day, as I always do when I walk alone. I found it both unpleasant and a day when I became very aware that I was entirely dependent on myself in this solitary situation. However, thanks to my carefully chosen gear, I did not get wet through. I am always self-reliant (by choice) on my long walks, although they are seldom totally alone on camino. Except for the complete solitude, this day was little different from three quarters of my days on the Invierno, where I walked alone, mostly in the rain.

Oh No! I did not think your response was negative at all! I thought it was an honest account of a tough day...we all have them...
For me such days and getting through them make the camino all the more memorable... love it!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
a women's cycling club in Madrid
Now that would be fun! I think that in all my caminos I haven't seen more than a handful of female cyclists, and most if not all of them were traveling with a guy. Nothing wrong with that of course, but an all women’s group would be a hoot.

What are the private rooms like at Carpinteriras?
They are clean, nothing fancy, decent bathroom, exterior window. I remember thinking the towels were nicer than in your standard 20-something € pensión.
 

Albertagirl

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Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
What kind of personal locator beacon did you carry, Alberta girl?
I carry a Spot emergency beacon. It weighs about 100 grams and gives a direct contact through a satellite to a monitoring station which contacts local emergency services when a signal is received.
 
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Marbe2

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I carry a Spot emergency beacon. It weighs about 100 grams and gives a direct contact through a satellite to a monitoring station which contacts local emergency services when a signal is received.
Do you have a year plan, or rent the satellite service per trip? Would you mind letting me know what the approximate cost of the service is?
 
Now that would be fun! I think that in all my caminos I haven't seen more than a handful of female cyclists, and most if not all of them were traveling with a guy. Nothing wrong with that of course, but an all women’s group would be a hoot.
It was a hoot! First as I left the bar in A Feira, when they sped past hooting and hollering and waving at the smokers in front of the bar (who all yelled back) and then at the hostel in Rodeiro. Dinner was lots of fun! It was quite the end of day after the hours of quiet solitary walking!
 

Albertagirl

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Do you have a year plan, or rent the satellite service per trip? Would you mind letting me know what the approximate cost of the service is?
While, this is tricky. It is now possible to get monthly services, for a reasonable price. I have always had yearly service, which was all that was possible when I first signed up. This past year, I got a bargain which included both a new Gen3 beacon and a yearly service. As far as I can recall, the service part of it was $100. US for the year. But monthly services are now also available and would be cheaper than the regular yearly price. In the past, members had to cancel the yearly service a month in advance of the annual renewal date, or the contract was automatically renewed for a year and the member's credit card charged the annual rate. This made a certain amount of sense, as members might be anywhere in the world and liable to forget about renewing it. I need to renew or change to monthly service by early August this year, or my annual service is likely to be renewed at whatever the current charge is. You can find lots of information online about Spot, including about different types of hardware and the annual and seasonal service charges. You can currently get a monthly service plan for $14.95 US a month. I use this only for emergency use, when my cell phone has no service, and for checking in with family when I am walking in the mountains. You can find out about current hardware and services at: findmespot.com
 
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ranthr

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A further reflection on my post #321, about my unpleasant day walking from Chantada to Rodeiro. I think that my reflections may have come across as very negative. They were a response to @peregrina2000 's favourable comments on the day's walk, as I remembered how my experience was different from hers. I evaluated the dangers of the day, as I always do when I walk alone. I found it both unpleasant and a day when I became very aware that I was entirely dependent on myself in this solitary situation. However, thanks to my carefully chosen gear, I did not get wet through. I am always self-reliant (by choice) on my long walks, although they are seldom totally alone on camino. Except for the complete solitude, this day was little different from three quarters of my days on the Invierno, where I walked alone, mostly in the rain.
I can imagine your walk that day. On my walk I saw nothing at all, dumped into a couple of mills that I saw only when I was very close. Luckily it did not rain.
I felt a bit uncomfortable up there alone, but since I had met 3 peregrinos at the bar in Penasillas I knew there were somone behind.
Two cyclists nearly run into me downhill. They did not see me until they where very close. Further down the fog disappeared and I got a view.
I guess those who got a nice weather on their mountaincrossing had a different experience.
 

CaroleH

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As we were leaving, the Mayor of Rodeiro stopped in his Mercedes and offered us a lift to town...which we declined (wow, a lift in a Mercedes...any other time please!!)
I did however invite him to become Mayor of London!! View attachment 92935
Haha love it. The things that happen on camino!

Notes from June, 2018
CHANTADA to RODEIRO. (25.8KM) Taxi for about 9km to Penasillas. (Dicky ankle..) Bar opened for me and another pilgrim met briefly here, then didn’t charge for cup of tea. If its closed, knock on the door of house on its right where the owner lives. Lovely lady, bar just not always open.

Alto de Faro.. definitely worth the ascent, up the stone steps, on the left, then grass via the Stations of the Cross, for the fabulous view, and there’s a covered structure for shelter or lunch, near the Ermita. I continued down 50-100m?? and past the cruceiro, straight across the tarred road, then up to the modern, glass research office, building, which was interesting, then back tracked the 100m?? back down to the tarred road, where you turn left (or Right from the Cruceiro) to continue the camino. Just follow the arrows. Bit of confusion over a picnic area. I only saw a very disused picnic area on the R just about where the stone steps take you L off camino and up to the Faro, but that was all. Perhaps it was overgrown in Galician style. Signage is good.

After rejoining the camino (above) it will soon turn Right and you will walk on along a turbine service road. Hug a turbine! Or not!

Rodeira: Hospedaxe O Guerra. 20E for a lovely room, inc breakfast. Key at bar around the corner.

I spent a good hour up the top, wished I could get into the Chapel, as ever. Wonderful views. Also enjoyed the glass box office nearby... really good for selfie 'reflection' photos.
Doubt I would have done this days walk if it was raining or in thick cloud, as it was for Albertagirl and others. I put off starting back in Ponferrada because it had been raining for weeks and I was worried. So I finally walked with my Altus rain coat hanging in front, and shook it at any cloud that threatened every day.... It worked...I could see rain sometimes in the distance but I never got wet. Recommend that trick! ;)
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
I spent a good hour up the top, wished I could get into the Chapel, as ever. Wonderful views. Also enjoyed the glass box office nearby
I was lucky with the weather too, wonderful views from the top back towards snow-capped Padornelo, which I'd crossed on 6 of my 8 previous caminos, and on towards the destinctive Pico Sacro, landing lights for arrival at Santiago for pilgrims on the Sanabrés and Invierno.

Also strongly recommend the Carpintieras. Arrived about 3.30pm and they happily gave me a very good lunch in solitary splendour in their dining room (really one of the best caldo gallegos I've ever had).

View attachment 93010
 

CaroleH

Active Member
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Think I was hasty and a bit mean earlier in my comment re Sarah Dhoona's Invierno videos. Now enjoying a few more, her rolling photography, bridge dancing, tours through castles and albergues (brilliant), history. Lots of fun and nice prompts for my old memory. I guess she's not doing these videos as detailed guides, but for other reasons e.g. fame and fortune, enjoyment and satisfaction.It's her thing.

She's a bit crazy but also brave, or foolhardy and young. Long distances, many kms in darkness and rain??? Even Sarah herself says in Day 6, Invierno, 'walking on a busy road, in rain at night is not good and she doesn't like it'.

However, I admire her spirit and perseverance and wish her well. I thank her for sharing her exuberance. Buen camino Sarah.
 
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Marbe2

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2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
CaroleH, I agree. Sara’s video, has a lot to offer in terms of the route, scenery, accommodations, restaurants, markets, etc. One who has never done the route can glean a lot from it. And everyone has their own style. My caution had to do with frequently walking after dark, alone and in poor conditions with possibly no mobile phones in December. It is truely dangerous and not a practice to be emulated.
 
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Eeek, thanks to our internet getting cut off here, I'm playing catch-up. I'm glad you are all still in Rodeiro, because it's worth pinpointing the Panaderia Jesus, that delivers bread to the royal family in Madrid every day. It's down the hill and around the corner from the Carpintieras right off the big roundabout in the center of town:
Screenshot_20210208-094700_OsmAnd.jpg
 
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Eeek, thanks to our internet getting cut off here, I'm playing catch-up. I'm glad you are all still in Rodeiro, because it's worth pinpointing the Panaderia Jesus, that delivers bread to the royal family in Madrid every day. It's down the hill and around the corner from the Carpintieras right off the big roundabout in the center of town:
Sorry I missed that panaderia!!
 

CaroleH

Active Member
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VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Eeek, thanks to our internet getting cut off here, I'm playing catch-up. I'm glad you are all still in Rodeiro, because it's worth pinpointing the Panaderia Jesus, that delivers bread to the royal family in Madrid every day. It's down the hill and around the corner from the Carpintieras right off the big roundabout in the center of town:
Yes, we're all still in Rodeiro, enjoying the royal delights of the Panaderia and waiting for the rain to stop.
 
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peregrina2000

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l love Galician bread. Looks like the Panaderia Jesús is a must-stop place.

Here’s an interesting article about the King and Queen’s breadmakers. They receive a weekly delivery of bread and empanadas, sometimes almond tart or a cake. The owner of the panadería assures the writer that the bread will stay fresh for one week if wrapped in a cloth, because it is artisanal bread of high quality.

The picture is of the woman Ana María Ledo, who is in charge. She works 16 hours a day, with her son Jesús and one other baker. There are two delivery people. Her father, an emigrant from Venezuela, founded the bakery. It’s a great story of luck, hard work, and a wood oven.
 

peregrina2000

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Staff member
Rodeiro to Lalín (21.5 km)

This walk is a very pretty well-marked ramble through the countryside with no pronounced elevation. It is mainly off-road and takes you through a number of Galician hamlets where the cows outnumber the people. I have always met women out working with their cows, and they are always very friendly. This is a day with no services, though, so be sure to bring what you need. There is a strip mine above the town of Eirexe (I think) and one place where the owner has erected a huge statue to the former King, Juan Carlos, and also has plastered the pages of a court case in a display around the base. I tried to make out what was going on, and I believe it was about a water dispute, but I didn’t spent much time on deciphering it. But besides those slightly jarring appearances, it is a peaceful hamlet to hamlet jaunt.

Leaving Rodeiro, the first two kms or so are along the main road to Lalín. There’s a separate path on the side, so there is no danger. I know some forum members have stayed on the road straight into Lalín. That makes it a short 15 km day, with lots of bars to stop in, but think of all the charm you would miss.

Coming into Lalín you will go through Lalín de Arriba (upper Lalín) with its ancient church. Last time I went through it was undergoing renovations, but the other times, the señora with the keys came to open it.

I like Lalín, lots going on, lots of services. I have stayed in the Hotel Restaurante El Palacio and it was fine. Others can give their recommendations. On my other caminos, I continued further on — once to the albergue in A Laxe (not my favorite albergue) and once to the Pazo Bendoiro where I had a fancy lunch (fancier than the standard pilgrim fare, I think the menú was about 18€) and la really lazy afternoon lounging on the gorgeous grounds. It was the 4th of July, I was up for a little splurge, and I had walked by this place numerous times always wondering what it would be like. The Pazo is about a km out of Laxe, so staying in the albergue or the pazo would add 6 or 7 km to your total.

Soon after Lalín, at the albergue in Laxe to be exactly, the Invierno merges with the Sanabrés, and from there it’s just two or three days into Santiago!
 

Raggy

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I like Lalín, lots going on, lots of services. I have stayed in the Hotel Restaurante El Palacio and it was fine. Others can give their recommendations. On my other caminos, I continued further on — once to the albergue in A Laxe (not my favorite albergue)
Cool ... I wasn't sure I'd get the chance to make a pertinent comment on this thread, but I ended up in Lalin after going wrong on the Sanabres, so I know this tiny bit of the Camino de Invierno ...

The private albergue Lalin Centro is excellent - a recently converted apartment in a 1960s block which sits over a covered shopping arcade. Well heated rooms. Good showers. Coin-op washing machine and drier. Decently equipped kitchen with dining area. Green grocers immediately in front of the entrance to the building.

The owner, Emiliano, runs the Casa do Gato ("The cathouse") pizzeria and bar around the corner. That's where you pick up keys and check in to the albergue. Emiliano is involved in the local camino association. The welcome at the Casa do Gato is warm and sincere. Winding up in Lalin was one of the best mistakes I made on my VDLP / Sanabres camino.
 
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2019
The owner of the panadería assures the writer that the bread will stay fresh for one week if wrapped in a cloth, because it is artisanal bread of high quality.
so be sure to bring what you need.
Sourdough from a wood-fired oven? OMG I missed out bigtime. Next time, I'll have to buy enough to last a couple of days. With bread like that all you need to make a perfect lunch is a ripe tomato and a handful of olives, and maybe some cheese. Hummus would be even better, and you can probably find it in Lalin — there's a big Carrefour and Lidl on the Northern edge of town.

If the first day out of Ponferrada was a Bierzo idyll, this last full day before meeting the Sanabres could rightly be called a Galician idyll - gentle, pastoral, and sometimes so green it looked 'enhanced.' After all the landscape dramas of the last days, this just felt quiet. It wasn't necessarily physically quiet, because this is farm country and there were mowing macines, and any number of agricultural noise-makers - not to mention cowbells, the songs of robins, gurgling brooks, wind ruffling the tops of trees. But under all that it felt still.

Over hill and dale, gently up and down. Near the middle of the stretch between A Ponte and Lalin, the road climbed an open hill, and suddenly the whole landscape of Monte Faro - that I'd walked through yesterday - appeared in its entirety. And then 100 meters later it was gone, as if it had been a mirage.

And because this is Galicia, there was mud. It'd been dry enough to make the moss look sad, so the two memorable patches were easy to negotiate. But I would hate to meet these stretches after days of rain. It looked as if some serious work has been done to improve the situation in one place, with granite stepping stones placed off to one side.

I was so enjoying the oak woodlands, the golden broom, and all the chestnut trees (which will be blooming soon). There was some pine and eucalyptus, too, but relatively little. This seemed to be dairy country, where there are many more cows than people. Mostly they were their usual placid selves, but I saw some some cows frolicking: leaping and cantering like horses.

There were several tiny settlements, with just a few farmhouses, or maybe a few more. In Eirexe, the graves paving the tiny churchyard hold more dead than are living there now. Followed by A Ponte, which must have once been a much busier place, with its spectacular bridge.

I stayed at the very flash Albergue Centro in Lalin. Owned by the same folks who have the wonderful pizza place around the corner. Camino amigos!
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Albertagirl

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The private albergue Lalin Centro is excellent - a recently converted apartment in a 1960s block which sits over a covered shopping arcade.
I got lost in Lalin, trying to find the location of this albergue in the dark and in the rain. Eventually, I ended up there, for a comfortable night. In the morning, I took a photo of the large statue of a pig that stands at the entrance to this shopping arcade, facing onto the main street. If you see this pig, its hind end stands at the entrance to this arcade. Look left as you walk along the arcade to see the street number and bell of the albergue, which is upstairs.
 
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I got lost in Lalin, trying to find the location of this albergue in the dark and in the rain. Eventually, I ended up there, for a comfortable night. In the morning, I took a photo of the large statue of a pig that stands at the entrance to this shopping arcade, facing onto the main street. If you see this pig, its hind end stands at the entrance to this arcade. Look left as you walk along the arcade to see the street number and bell of the albergue, which is upstairs.

Or talk to the folks up the street at A Casa do Gato Pizza, and they'll help you out - they also own the albergue. The pizza is delicious and they were super friendly.
 
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alansykes

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Except the Francés
I ended up getting lost and frozen in horizontal December sleat somewhere after Rodeiro, on a path calf deep in mud, so eventually found myself back on the main road. Which isn't that bad as it has a side path. Also it meant I went past the little village of Albarellos (about halfway between Rodeiro and Lalín), and its most welcome Taberna do Tais. The landlady there (and her family going back several generations) has kept bees and she has won the "best honey in Galicia" prize for the last decade or so. I used to have bees myself, and every beekeeper knows that their honey is the best, but hers was an honourable competitor. Especially as she made me try some with a side glass of her local godello, a really delicious pairing.
 

CaroleH

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The private albergue Lalin Centro is excellent - a recently converted apartment in a 1960s block which sits over a covered shopping arcade. Well heated rooms. Good showers. Coin-op washing machine and drier. Decently equipped kitchen with dining area. Green grocers immediately in front of the entrance to the building.

The owner, Emiliano, runs the Casa do Gato ("The cathouse") pizzeria and bar around the corner. That's where you pick up keys and check in to the albergue. Emiliano is involved in the local camino association. The welcome at the Casa do Gato is warm and sincere. Winding up in Lalin was one of the best mistakes I made on my VDLP / Sanabres camino.

Notes from 2018..
RODEIRO to LALIN. 21-22KM. After the first few km on the main road, the camino then follows dirt roads and farm tracks, very peaceful and pretty, even if boggy in parts. I remember climbing through a barbed wire fence into a farm paddock to skirt around a boggy stretch and having great trouble getting out of the paddock later. In the village of Eirexa, after crossing an old bridge, I was attacked by 3 dogs which came out of the farm next to the fine large home/property “Estanqueiro”. I called out for help, nobody came even though there were a number of smart cars parked in front of the smart house. Then I remembered my ‘pretend stone’ throwing trick and it worked a treat. Recommend.

New Note: The gates of the farm had been left open that day, so probably not an ongoing problem. The dogs, two alsations and a smaller variety, I think I saw yesterday on Sarah Dhoona's video, behind the closed gate. I was really scared by the attack, they did not get to bite me, but were about 1m away and viscious and I thought I was a gonner.... A few minutes after the farmer went past me on his tractor, on his way back towards the dogs. I made it clear to him I was not happy, but he didn't stop.

That was my only serious dog attack on the Invierno. Earlier on, I'd kind of decided to not be afraid. ... but I had to talk sternly to myself after that attack to carry on. The stone trick is brilliant, telling guard dogs they are doing a good job and not making eye contact can all help. Hiking sticks of course, for me, a necessity. I don't really like to carry dog treats because I also had a couple of cases of friendly dogs wanting to come on camino with me, folowing for kms and having trouble getting them to go back where they came from.

Lalin. Stayed in private Albergue de Lalin Centro, (see @Raggy info above) near main church and plaza. Clle Observatory 8-2. Email.. emilianomeijome@gmail.com Ph 610 207 992 or 649 915 381. Has small kitchen, microwave, wifi, small 8 bed dorms, modern bedding plus pilgrims.!! ($10 plus optional $2 extra for sheets). Recommend.
 
Rodeiro to Lalin

Leaving Rodeiro is straight forward and well marked, following the road for a couple of km’s before turning off onto a quiet forested path. Be sure to have food and water for the day. There are no services until Lalin. If you are collecting two credential stamps a day, try to get one in Rodeiro in the morning before you leave. Maybe from the Panaderia Jesús when stopping for their delicious bread!

The last full day walking on the Invierno was a nice, easy rambling walk, starting with a couple of kms along the road before turning onto a quiet path along freshly plowed fields and through wooded areas.
rod.jpg rod8.jpg

The path was very muddy and wet in places but I was always able to get through it okay by stepping stones or along the edges of the path. In one place, very grateful for whoever had created a sidewalk out of granite slabs! Just before Penberosa, the path leaves the woods, opening up views of hills and farmland.
rod7.jpg rod6.jpg
At Penda, stopped for a bit to study the strange monument made by a farmer in honour of former King Carlos. Statues and photographs along with dozens of framed letters and documents across the front of the monument relating to a law suit.
rod5.jpg
A little further down the road, ahead and then on the right is the possible source of the materials used in the monument. A granite quarry where the trucks and machinery are dwarfed by the massive cut-away slabs along the side of the mountain.
rod9.jpg
A rest in Eirexe de Pedroso on a bench in front of the Igrexa de San Xiao de Pedrosa. Along with the pilgrim welcoming bench is a potable water fountain next to the gate entrance to the churchyard.
rode.jpg
The camino continues over the 12th century bridge A Ponte de Pedroso, crossing the Arnego River.
rod10.jpg
Along this camino, on the longer stretches without services, I thought about how a simple re-design of future mojóns could greatly aid the pilgrim who longs for a bench to rest on once in awhile, (maybe every 5km or so).
At the crossroads of a hamlet (it was before Palmaz) there is a mojón and next to it, a lovely covered bench. More elaborate than my design thoughts and so appreciated! As I rested, a woman passed, bringing her cows to pasture in the field across the road. A movie with soundtrack framed through the borders of the shelter - clopping hooves of a herd of 20 on the tarmac road, cow bells, the sing song called commands from the woman. On her way back she stopped and we had a chat, with the usual questions I would be asked from the women I encountered rurally along the Invierno, "Are you alone? Are you going to Santiago? Where are you from? Aren't you afraid? and then wishing me well on my journey.
rod2.jpg rod3.jpg
Stone walled pastoral views along most of the rest of the way into Lalin de Arriba, then through suburbs and busy streets into Lalin. I stayed at the Hotel Pontinas. A comfortable and clean single room with bathroom, 28 euro.
 
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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.
Question to the dog whisperers here... If several dogs are gathering and threatening to attack, would tossing a couple of small dog treats really help? I'd be afraid they'll demand more.
Also interested . I honestly doubt it would have worked this time and anyway, I had both hands occupied with hiking sticks fending them off...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
would tossing a couple of small dog treats really help? I'd be afraid they'll demand more.
It depends. Of it's a pack of really serious dogs and they're intent on making trouble, probably not. Those Alsatians, for example.

But one or two dogs who are more bark than bite— barking out of fear, rather than aggression — for these treats would probably work wonders.

In my experience demands for treats from dogs don't tend to be aggressive. They're not like monkeys.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
If you like graphic novels, check out Lalin's Curse, by Isabel Terol Martinez

I've just finished the prologue, and it's pretty spooky. I'm glad I didn't read it before I stumbled through the woods and past the cemetary into Lalin on a dark night in late November, three years ago.
 
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.
Rodeiro to Lalin
There are 2 ways to get to Lalin...by the way marked trail or by the road...which is about 6 km shorter and not as scenic but at the time we did not know whether the lanes were Tarmac or gravel....since then however we've learned that they are a mixture of both..
Now looking at Theatregal photos I think we may have missed a lovely walk.

Realising that there were a few cafes on the road section may have influenced the decision!
Charlie does speed up when there's a cafe in sight!
Although the main road was noisy, there are service roads at each side without any traffic and shielded by some trees, we listened to music on our iPods.
We had a long stop at both cafes ..
Reading Alansykes post reminded me of the nice " honey lady" at the second cafe
A left turn off before Lalin brought us into the centre of a vibrant, buzzing town with a great atmosphere
Again a long stop here and we had no problem leaving the town by the river and then through a long open area,
A sharp right hand turn off the path and up a muddy little lane brought us to an industrial area
Although the path went straight on over the road, we turned left as we'd booked...by phone and before leaving home the very smart Torre de Desa as a treat and at a good price.
When we arrived the reception denied that any booking had been made...even though I had the name of the person I'd booked through
A few choice words were spoken between us
And when they then offered us a room at the greatly inflated price of€95 I began to see stars and they were not the estrella of Santiago!
On principle I would not pay/stay there after this even at the original price I was given
Talk about "taking the mick"
A tourist expects
A pilgrim accepts
Well not in this case pet so we just walked out before my rucksack went flying in their direction

Fortunately we had passed a pension about 5 minutes back and yes they did have a room for €37
Really the best mixup of the day
A friendly lively place with a wonderful meal in the evening
A beautiful place to sit at the front and it was a 5 minute walk from the Camino

Called Hostal de Santiago and we would definitely stay there again
 
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filly

Active Member
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2021
Into Monforte de Lemos (12.5 km from Pobra de Brollón, 18 km from Salcedo, about 20 from Pensión Pacita).

For those who want to walk beyond Monforte and stay within the 25 km range, there are options, so stay tuned. But I thought I would stop here to let people give their recommendations about Monforte. It is the major city on the Invierno and is the “official starting point” for those who will walk the minimum distance for a compostela. One of the Invierno Associations has its headquarters here, and some members have met Aida Menéndez, one of the tireless champions for Invierno official recognition.

From Pobra de Brollón to Monforte there is one small ascent, a few small towns, and one terribly muddy and always watersoaked short stretch.

I am hoping VN will give us info on the castro (hill fort) she took a slight detour to see.

I am hoping others will tell us about their visit to the Colegio de los Escolapios in Monforte, which I have never visited. There are two El Grecos there, I’ve been told, but I am really not an El Greco fan, so I (shamefully) never made the effort.

I am hoping others will also tell us about the tour to the wine museum, another place I haven’t visited, and any other fun times they had in Monforte.

So, you may wonder, what have I done all those times I have been in Monforte?! For me, it’s a very nice small city with wonderful open space, a nice parador to climb up to, and a small historic center with nice cafés.

Of my three times there, once I walked through and on to Torre Vilariño (which I will rave about in the next stage, and yes Albertagirl it is back in business); once I stayed in the parador in Monforte and was content to stay put and luxuriate in the creature comforts there; and once I stayed in Mon comeysueña https://www.facebook.com/hostalmon (which I very highly recommend, both for its hostal and its home cooking in the restaurant). I spent my afternoon walking around the central area with @annettelondon. So I can tell you that even if you are not keen to visit museums or monasteries, you will find that Monforte has a lot going on and is a great place to stop.
Rather late in the day.... but I thought I would chip in on two fronts:

- Monforte de Lemos has a great railway museum (opens at 10 am I believe and is located at the west end of the outskirts, just north of the tracks). Some may have seen that in October 2020 I discovered another at Ponferrada...

- when I hiked the Invierno in 2019 in the spring, I was mesmerised by the wildflowers and birdsong. There are some amazingly positioned stork nests on pylons in the middle of railway tracks around Monforte
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
For a good idea of how relaxing and comfortable my splurge in the Pazo Bendoiro was, here are some pictures. I think the rate was 50 € for my room and breakfast, and where I come from that wouldn’t even get you a creaky bed and skanky bathroom in a Motel 6.


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And I thought @filly, with his well-established penchant for white linen tablecloths, would appreciate the shot of the restaurant.

89A1A151-FA6E-4CAA-A53C-ACD328BDF17F.jpeg
 

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nycwalking

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Do you know where the other dogs were that attacked the people you met? I think that, in general, the Invierno is no “worse” than any other untraveled camino in rural Spain in terms of loose dogs. After many years of paralyzing fear, I’ve gotten to the point that I can walk past some loose barking dogs without feeling my heart jump through my chest. @Rebekah Scott was a very good teacher.

Thank you @peregrina2000.

I thought surely I was the only person terrified of loose dogs.

I even hid in a cow shed, with the cows, as a quiet slow walking “mad dog” passed.
 

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 said
Leaving Rodeiro, the first two kms or so are along the main road to Lalín. There’s a separate path on the side, so there is no danger. I know some forum members have stayed on the road straight into Lalín. That makes it a short 15 km day, with lots of bars to stop in, but think of all the charm you would miss.


If the weather is poor, for sure the road is a good option. Or, if you want to head straight to Pazo Bendoiro, with a stop for lunch in Lalin.There are several places along the road to stop, and again might be an option if you wanted to avoid mud. There appears to be areas, where side roads parallel the main road, PO-533,...though not continuous....
 
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filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The Pazo do Castro is four star and definitely had white tablecloths!

Thought I should include the first Invierno marker in Ponferrada and the only ever spotted ‘vertical’ shell motif marker in Quiroga.

Spot the carved animals in the treetrunk in Borrenes...
 

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peregrina2000

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Or if you want to head straight to Pazo Bendoiro, with a stop for lunch in Lalin.
Actually, I had thought of that, as it would keep the distance down for you. It is a very lovely stage, but I would cut corners to get to Pazo Bendoiro early enough to enjoy it. And for those who might object, I think we can be pretty sure that the “real pilgrims” did not take our lolly-gagging lovely stroll through rural Galicia, but would have gone straight from Rodeiro to Lalín.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
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Actually, I had thought of that, as it would keep the distance down for you. It is a very lovely stage, but I would cut corners to get to Pazo Bendoiro early enough to enjoy it. And for those who might object, I think we can be pretty sure that the “real pilgrims” did not take our lolly-gagging lovely stroll through rural Galicia, but would have gone straight from Rodeiro to Lalín.
I took the ”real pilgrims” route 😉and walked along the road, since it was still foggy and I had read a lot about mud on the path. This roadroute was marked with yellow arrows, I think, and it was easygoing. I found a dead boar along the way.
Walked through Lalin to Hotel Torre de Deza where I spent the night, stay booked at booking.com. Just a hotel, wouldn’t say a treat, was a bit disappointed that I had to have my dinner in a noisy bar and not in the restaurant.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Walked through Lalin to Hotel Torre de Deza where I spent the night, stay booked at booking.com. Just a hotel, wouldn’t say a treat, was a bit disappointed that I had to have my dinner in a noisy bar and not in the restaurant.

@ranthr, I think you drew the short straw for this night’s lodging. This is the hotel in the middle of the commercial/industrial park, Hotel Torre de Deza . Next time, my advice would be to either stop in the lively city of Lalín, or push on another two or three kms to Pazo Bendoiro. I think both of those alternatives would have left you feeling much jollier.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
This is the hotel in the middle of the commercial/industrial park, Hotel Torre de Deza
Caveat browser. That website makes the hotel look ten times more attractive than it is. I stopped there to use the bathroom after making my way out of Lalin. It reminded me of hotels where corporate sales organizations hold their kick off meetings when they're not achieving their targets.
 

MJB

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (in sections 2004, 2012, 2015); Portugues (from Oporto 2013); Primitivo (from Castroverde) 2012; Invierno (2016)
It is worth walking close up to see the detail of these figures on the restored church at Diomondi.

Diomondi.jpg

I was drawn to the Petos de Ánimas leaving Chantada. They have a simple feel reminiscent of 18th or early 19th century New England gravestones.

Peto de Animas.jpg

This blog entry shows a host of older and more contemporary, colorful Petos.


Rodeiro is pretty, small farm town. I liked the small, grand city hall, the monument to the old people of the town ("Work, Self-
Sacrifice, Experience") and the billboard urging us to "Choose the milk that makes Galicia grow!" 100% local.

Rodeiro town hall.jpg Rodeiro velinhos.jpg Rodeiro milk.jpg

It poured rain most of the way from Chantada to Rodeiro. I was very happy to go up to room rented from the owners of the bar, where the radiators were blazing to dry me and my clothes out.
 
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peregrina2000

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Lalín to Bandeira (23 km)

Long time forum members might remember the fun and frustration we had years ago, trying to give good directions for people to get out of Lalín, on the river walk, through the industrial park, and under the highway into A Laxe. The excellent markings have now made this all a non-issue.

Leaving Lalín, you have a few kms on the river walk, a very popular local trail for walkers and runners. Everyone knows where the “paseo fluvial” is, but the guide has directions to get you there from the center. After a few kms walking on wooded riverside paths, a mojón will take you off the trail, up across the national highway, and down along the back of the industrial park (which is more of a commercial warehouse and wholesale sales type area than real industry). There is a four star hotel plopped in the middle of all of this, which @ranthr described in an earlier post. Based on her and @Raggy’s comments, it doesn’t sound like the place to be. From the industrial park, the camino takes you under the autovía, and BAM, in about a minute you will be in front of the albergue in A Laxe and now officially on the Sanabrés.

There are some really beautiful parts of the walk after A Laxe. I bet most pilgrims’ favorite is through the woods to the Ponte Taboada, a medieval bridge that is inaccessible by any means other than self-propulsion. Coming out onto the highway after the bridge, you will see a little church on the other side. Though the camino doesn’t cross the road, you should, because it is a little gem of a Romanesque church. Residents have recently made an effort to keep it open for pilgrims, and I have enjoyed several inside visits. The carving of Samson on the pórtico is special.

The forested kms before Silleda are quite beautiful, too. Silleda, about 7 km before Bandeira, is a bigger town with accommodation options, and plenty of commerce. But Bandeira also has all you are likely to need and makes for a nice stopping point. Two easy days from Bandeira into Santiago!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Recommendations for accommodations in Bandeira?
I have stayed a couple of times in the Hotel Vitorino. It’s a family run place. It has a nice outdoor café part, a restaurant indoors with family cooking. Rooms are no frills but all good condition and very clean. I remember that in 2019, even before the pandemic, they were worried about declining numbers of pilgrims. Hope they are making it.

The Hostal Conde Rey, next door or a couple doors down from the Vitorino, was closed for renovations the first time I went through. So the second time I just decided to stay with the known quantity. But it looks like the renovations are done and it may be a bit more “upscale” than the Vitorino.

The albergue is new, clean, and gets good reviews on Gronze. I visited it when I last stayed in Bandeira and it had just opened. Very functional and modern.

Also, for people who prefer being out in rural Galicia, the Albergue Casa Dornelas looks like a very special place. It’s five kms beyond Bandeira. Run by an Italian couple, I had hoped to stay there on my last time through, but it was closed because the owners were home in Italy getting married! I remember coinciding with some local women out for their morning walk, and they just raved about how wonderful the place and people were. They told me they stopped there every morning for the best coffee in Galicia after walking.
 

MikeJS

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Year of past OR future Camino
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Actually, I had thought of that, as it would keep the distance down for you. It is a very lovely stage, but I would cut corners to get to Pazo Bendoiro early enough to enjoy it. And for those who might object, I think we can be pretty sure that the “real pilgrims” did not take our lolly-gagging lovely stroll through rural Galicia, but would have gone straight from Rodeiro to Lalín.
Naa - the ‘real pilgrims’ go to Silleda from Rodeiro!!;)
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
the Albergue Casa Dornelas looks like a very special place.
I have heard good things about this albergue and have tried to stop there on my last couple of trips through, on the VdlP and then on the Invierno. Both times, I was walking in November, and both times they were closed. I was content to walk on. But if you were thinking of it as a bed for the night after the end of a long day, it might be a good idea to book ahead, or at least check in advance if they were going to be open.
 
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MikeJS

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Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Is the Ponte Taboada medieval bridge the one about about 3kms after Prado? It is my favourite place on all my Caminos. I would love to have a swim there but have never found a safe way down! IMG_3800.JPG
 

ranthr

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Recommendations for accommodations in Bandeira?
I stayed in Hostal Conde Rey. Good menu del dia in the bar. Room cheap, but cold. I think this was the place where you had to turn on heat in the shower to get hot water. There was some writing about it in the forum, may be @OzAnnie mentioned it, so I was aware of the problem. Next time if ever 🙂I guess I would try the hotel down the street.
 

Raggy

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2017, 2018, 2019
I've stayed at at the Hotel Vitorino in Bandeira. I thought it was just OK. There's at least one other Hostal in town and the albergue. I would try the albergue if I were there again. I think it was closed for the winter when I passed through in 2017. It appears to be constructed from shipping containers. The town has a couple of restaurants and bars.

In Dornelas, Casa Leiras is a stylish albergue. I stayed in 2019. The owners prepare a communal dinner for guests at the albergue - Italian style. I enjoyed it a lot. I don't think there are any other options in the village. Even if you don't stay for the night, I recommend stopping by coffee. When I stayed there, one person in my group was unable to sleep because there were mosquitoes in the dorm. The mosquitoes themselves didn't bother me too much, but I was unable to sleep because someone spent the whole night thrashing around, swearing at the air, turning on the lights, and moaning about being singled out by the mosquitoes. If you think that this might bother you, I recommend packing a mosquito coil or a large club.

We've covered this stretch of the camino in some detail in the Via de la Plata / Sanabres virtual caminos. Perhaps someone should put a link to those threads here - or copy over the pertinent posts.
 

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!
Naa - the ‘real pilgrims’ go to Silleda from Rodeiro!!;)
Unfortunately, if people think this way, Mike, the route will not get that well traveled, because I do not believe most “real” pilgrims do circa 35km per day😏and good for the ones that do.....
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
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We've covered this stretch of the camino in some detail in the Via de la Plata / Sanabres virtual caminos. Perhaps someone should put a link to those threads here - or copy over the pertinent posts.

Excellent idea, @Raggy, here‘s the link to the entire thread. It’s a great one. And for those who want to go straight to the section of the Sanabrés that comes after the merger with the Invierno, start around this post.
 
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Leaving Lalin first along the river and then through a commercial area to A Laxe, past the albergue and across a highway for the turn off on the left and onto the Sanabres. Just before the turn off is a great café, Restaurante Maria Jośe. I’ve stopped here twice and both times a warm welcome and the best tortilla I’ve had on any caminos!

Turning off the highway leads through a green tunnel path and along stone walls and farm fields, then a short walk along the road and off again onto a quiet path arriving very soon at a bridge over the Rio Deza with views beyond of the arched Taboada Railway Bridge.
lal6.jpg
The year before (2018) when walking he Sanabres I continued over the bridge while admiring the views of the rail bridge and missed the arrow to the left off the path before the bridge. It turned out to be a happy accident because once across the bridge and another 200 metres or so, is the Taboada Railway Station. It’s a beautiful old station with a little cafe.
lal7.jpg
Opening hours depend on train schedules. I didn’t make the detour to the station this time but it is worth it if you need a coffee / bathroom stop.

Making the correct turn leads down a path under the rail bridge and further along a stone road to the beautiful historic Taboada Bridge with it's single pointed arch. I was alone here and found this place as magical this time as the last. If you’re feeling adventurous there are side paths to explore before the bridge, leading to the river including a set of stone steps under a low opening on the left side at the beginning of the bridge.
lal.jpg lal9.JPG
Soon after crossing, look for the stone on the left with an inscription in latin from the builders of the bridge.
lal8.JPG
The path winds up to the highway and a detour across to the 12th century Romanesque church of Santiago de Taboada. I missed stopping here in 2018, so was happy to find it open with a friendly attendant who answered all my questions as I had a good look around.
lal3.jpg lal2.jpg lal4.jpg
Crossing back over the highway, the camino leads off road and through farmland and in a section of about 200 metres, along a stone path that in 2018, was a shoe covering, muddy slippery stream. Other than one shorter wet area, it was much drier this year but I was still very grateful for my poles for stability while navigating through!
lal1.jpg lal10.jpg
Continuing on, is a beautiful oak tree shaded stretch along a quiet road leading to the hamlet of Trasfontao and then into Silleda and the Hostal Ramos (pilgrim rate 18 euro). Comfortable single room with bathroom. There is a café at the hostal as well.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
then into Silleda and the Hostal Ramos (pilgrim rate 18 euro).
Glad you mentioned your experience in Silleda. I have stayed in Silleda too, I think it was when I walked the Levante, and we were in the Albergue Turístico Silleda. It was actually an apartment or two turned quasi-albergue. Private rooms, shared bath, good spot.

If I ever get back to Silleda/Bandeira, I will try my hardest to visit the Mosteiro de San Lorenzo de Carboeiro. I had no idea it was there, till I saw it mentioned on the Albergue Turístico’s website. It’s about 7 km from either Silleda or Bandeira, so that would be a pretty hefty afternoon walk of 14 kms, but it looks really pretty amazing.

Info on the monastery here. Not a great website, so for pictures look at the wikipedia entry.

And the monastery is not far from the highest waterfalls in Galicia, Fervenza de Toxa. Also looks very nice. I know that at this point in a camino, there may be a real incentive to get to Santiago, but if you are prone to dilly dally, this would be a nice excursion. Both Bandeira and Silleda have taxis......
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
A couple of comments on my walks through this area: Somewhere in the area of the A Laxe albergue, towards the end of my VdlP in 2017, I was looking for a place to stop for a light lunch. It was late November and almost everything was closed. I found a bar open, and ordered a cheese bocadillo. The bun on which it was made was extremely hard and I broke a tooth on it. That was part of my decision to not go on camino the next year, but to get my teeth fixed. Had I known that further camino plans would be put off by another event beyond my control a couple of years later, I might have decided differently. In 2019, I was going through the same area, also in November, and chose to stay at the Ponte Ulla albergue, for the second time, having spent a night there in 2017. The facilities and services had deteriorated significantly: renovations removed the wonderful bathtub where I had luxuriated on my previous time through and the albergue was being closed at about 5 pm. I could sign in, but would not be fed. The cook who was going off-shift offered me a snack of left-overs, for which I was grateful. I stayed both walks at Hotel Ramos in Silleda and found them very helpful and my room comfortable. On the second occasion, I arrived late, wet, and cold, and the receptionist put me in a luxurious room with deep bath for the usual pilgrim rate. My last night before Santiago was at Reina Lupa in 2019, where I had the albergue to myself for the night and was well-fed and welcomed in the bar.
Reflecting on the above, I can see that arriving in late November influenced the meals and accommodations available to me, because some places had closed by this point in the season. I also stretched out this section a bit, to avoid arriving at San Martin Pinario ahead of my reservation. For this fall's camino (deo volente), I plan on again arriving in Santiago in late November, from the Levante, the Vdlp from Zamora, and the Sanabres. But I shall be careful to finish by the end of November to minimize the risk of having no available facilities.
 
Glad you mentioned your experience in Silleda. I have stayed in Silleda too, I think it was when I walked the Levante, and we were in the Albergue Turístico Silleda. It was actually an apartment or two turned quasi-albergue. Private rooms, shared bath, good spot.

If I ever get back to Silleda/Bandeira, I will try my hardest to visit the Mosteiro de San Lorenzo de Carboeiro. I had no idea it was there, till I saw it mentioned on the Albergue Turístico’s website. It’s about 7 km from either Silleda or Bandeira, so that would be a pretty hefty afternoon walk of 14 kms, but it looks really pretty amazing.

Info on the monastery here. Not a great website, so for pictures look at the wikipedia entry.

And the monastery is not far from the highest waterfalls in Galicia, Fervenza de Toxa. Also looks very nice. I know that at this point in a camino, there may be a real incentive to get to Santiago, but if you are prone to dilly dally, this would be a nice excursion. Both Bandeira and Silleda have taxis......
When I walked the Sanabres, the Albergue Turistico Silleda was full but they said we were welcome to come by for dinner. We did and it was delicious! The people at our table who were staying there said it was great.

Wow! Both the Mosteiro de San Lorenzo de Carboeiro and Fervenza de Toxa do look amazing and are now on my "if I return" list. This list is very long :D
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
The albergue is new, clean, and gets good reviews on Gronze. I visited it when I last stayed in Bandeira and it had just opened. Very functional and modern.
I stayed in Bandeira's albergue for the first time in late November 2019. On my previous 8 times on this part of the Sanabrés I've always carried on to Ponteulla, but the weather that day was so vile so decided to stop the night. After an excellent lunch in the Atly bar on the main drag, where I've eaten several times (fish soup, potato and veal guisado, very tasty light white wine, home made sponge, 9 or 10€, highly recommended - once I had pulpo there, but not every day on the mdd). Very nice atmosphere, with the staff's children turning up at 3pm and starting on their homework.

I like the albergue. As @Raggy says, it appears to be made out of shipping containers or portacabins, but perfectly comfortable. The hospitalera was very charming; busy doing a distance-learning degree, and clearly not getting many interruptions as I was the first pilgrim in three days. She kindly put me in the disabled cabin, as it is the smallest so easiest to warm up. The only possible criticism is that you have to leave the warm cabin to go to the freezing loo and shower, but so it goes (at San Bartolomé on the Levante, the shower block was a street away from the albergue). There's a Día round the corner, so I had a snack supper, all I needed after the ample lunch.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
So here’s an idea for anyone with lots of time. How about walking from either Silleda or Bandeira to the falls, 7 km, then a circle hike from the falls to the monastery and back (see wikiloc entry with lots of pictures), 13 km, then 7 km back to either Silleda or Bandeira.

That would be a nice way to enjoy a 27 km walk IMO!

Or maybe even better — sleep in Silleda, then walk out to do the circle around the monastery and the falls, and then end the day in Bandeira. That way, you will at least make some progress towards Santiago!
 
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.
From Hostal Santiago to Silleda
A shortish walk today so did not leave the hostal until 10am
10 minutes after the industrial park, the paths became lovely and grassy underfoot and at A Laxe we were suddenly on the Sanabres.
Passed the albergue where we stayed in 2008 walking the VDLP.
It was a surprise to find that only 2 American pilgrims had stayed there this time ....in fact many of the cafes and restaurants told us that the 2019 pilgrim numbers were way down at this time of the year than in previous years.

Little did we know then that things were going to get so much worse!!
Turning the corner was the familiar blue sign in the cafe/restaurant that we'd visited in '08.
Stopped for a coffee and chatted to the Argentinian pilgrim that we'd met in Chantada. He was walking this section in memory of his father who'd emigrated to Argentina many years before.
Passing the lovely Roman bridge, we soon came to the little church at Taboado where we were able to light some candles.
Those great farm smells were back again at this stage

We honestly expected to see more pilgrims on this stretch but even in Silleda they seemed few and far between.

What I noticed most on leaving the Invierno ...of all things...was the condition of the mojons!!!
On the Invierno they were all new, clean and shiny....on the VDLP...old and weatherbeaten. A bit like myself!!
Silleda seemed like a very quiet place and in fact it took us ages to find an open cafe.
Walked around and had a look at the town
Ate at The Gran Albergue cafe/ restaurant
Stayed at the Hostal Ramos which was comfortable at €30 for room with bathroom image.png
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I know that at this point in a camino, there may be a real incentive to get to Santiago, but if you are prone to dilly dally, this would be a nice excursion. Both Bandeira and Silleda have taxis......
There is an off-piste solution to everything. In this case about 21kms from Silleda to Dornellas, taking in both of these wonders:
Screenshot_20210212-191132_OsmAnd.jpg
It has the additional benefit of ending the day in Dornellas at Casa Leiras, where I would really like to stay after just stopping there for coffee. So next time I walk the Invierno, this will definitely be on the list of deviations from the usual that I'll be making.

Edit. Sorry, I missed this post of yours, Laurie:
So here’s an idea for anyone with lots of time. How about walking from either Silleda or Bandeira to the falls, 7 km, then a circle hike from the falls to the monastery and back (see wikiloc entry with lots of pictures), 13 km, then 7 km back to either Silleda or Bandeira.
Great minds think alike. Off the beaten path there are many options!
 
Last edited:

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
That is why I was taking the ‘Micky’ after perigrina2000 used the ‘real pilgrim’ in quotes on her post that I quoted. I consider it totally up to individual choice what we all do.
Unfortunately, if people think this way, Mike, the route will not get that well traveled, because I do not believe most “real” pilgrims do circa 35km per day😏and good for the ones that do.....
 

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!
So here’s an idea for anyone with lots of time. How about walking from either Silleda or Bandeira to the falls, 7 km, then a circle hike from the falls to the monastery and back (see wikiloc entry with lots of pictures), 13 km, then 7 km back to either Silleda or Bandeira.

That would be a nice way to enjoy a 27 km walk IMO!

Or maybe even better — sleep in Silleda, then walk out to do the circle around the monastery and the falls, and then end the day in Bandeira. That way, you will at least make some progress towards Santiago!

Your second choice sounds better!
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Great minds think alike. Off the beaten path there are many options!
So, while this is fresh in our minds, VN, I wonder if you have seen the circle route I posted above from wikiloc. It seems to take a marked trail, which makes it a few kms longer than your direct route. My thinking is that the best way to walk this would be to walk from Silleda to the Monastery, then get on the northern half of the circle to the waterfalls (based on the pictures, the northern half seems much more interesting than the southern half), enjoy the falls and then move on to either Bandeira or Dornelas.

What do you (or anyone else) think?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I will try my hardest to visit the Mosteiro de San Lorenzo de Carboeiro. I had no idea it was there, till I saw it mentioned on the Albergue Turístico’s website. It’s about 7 km from either Silleda or Bandeira, so that would be a pretty hefty afternoon walk of 14 kms, but it looks really pretty amazing
Another solution - there are hotels/casa rurales in the vicinity of Reboredo, near the Mosteiro.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
My thinking is that the best way to walk this would be to walk from Silleda to the Monastery, then get on the northern half of the circle to the waterfalls (based on the pictures, the northern half seems much more interesting than the southern half), enjoy the falls and then move on to either Bandeira or Dornelas.
I agree completely. I only saw your wikiloc track after putting up my post. I'd be avoiding Bandeira, and going directly to Dornelas. Or if I still had daylight hours and energy at Silleda, to keep going and follow @C clearly's good idea to stay in Reboredo - and then spend the next night in Ponte Ulla.
 
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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 am one step further along on our journey to walking the Invierno! Got my first Pfizer vaccine. Grateful! I am grateful the USA has been able to secure another 200 million doses fr9m Pfizer and Moderna, but I am concerned about the availability of the vaccines to everyone else!
Leaving Lalin first along the river and then through a commercial area to A Laxe, past the albergue and across a highway for the turn off on the left and onto the Sanabres. Just before the turn off is a great café, Restaurante Maria Jośe. I’ve stopped here twice and both times a warm welcome and the best tortilla I’ve had on any caminos!

Turning off the highway leads through a green tunnel path and along stone walls and farm fields, then a short walk along the road and off again onto a quiet path arriving very soon at a bridge over the Rio Deza with views beyond of the arched Taboada Railway Bridge.
View attachment 93334
The year before (2018) when walking he Sanabres I continued over the bridge while admiring the views of the rail bridge and missed the arrow to the left off the path before the bridge. It turned out to be a happy accident because once across the bridge and another 200 metres or so, is the Taboada Railway Station. It’s a beautiful old station with a little cafe.
View attachment 93335
Opening hours depend on train schedules. I didn’t make the detour to the station this time but it is worth it if you need a coffee / bathroom stop.

Making the correct turn leads down a path under the rail bridge and further along a stone road to the beautiful historic Taboada Bridge with it's single pointed arch. I was alone here and found this place as magical this time as the last. If you’re feeling adventurous there are side paths to explore before the bridge, leading to the river including a set of stone steps under a low opening on the left side at the beginning of the bridge.
View attachment 93339 View attachment 93337
Soon after crossing, look for the stone on the left with an inscription in latin from the builders of the bridge.
View attachment 93336
The path winds up to the highway and a detour across to the 12th century Romanesque church of Santiago de Taboada. I missed stopping here in 2018, so was happy to find it open with a friendly attendant who answered all my questions as I had a good look around.
View attachment 93331 View attachment 93330 View attachment 93332
Crossing back over the highway, the camino leads off road and through farmland and in a section of about 200 metres, along a stone path that in 2018, was a shoe covering, muddy slippery stream. Other than one shorter wet area, it was much drier this year but I was still very grateful for my poles for stability while navigating through!
View attachment 93329 View attachment 93338
Continuing on, is a beautiful oak tree shaded stretch along a quiet road leading to the hamlet of Trasfontao and then into Silleda and the Hostal Ramos (pilgrim rate 18 euro). Comfortable single room with bathroom. There is a café at the hostal as well.

You mentioned that there is a cafe which is open according to train scedule at The Taboada Railway Station. According to google,+ renfe, this station is permanently closed now.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Bandeira to Lestedo (23 km)

I’ve never stayed in the Casa Rural in Lestedo, but it gets consistently high reviews, and I know some of the Invierno planners like to see non-albergue options. The distance is perfect for the under-25 guidelines. Of course, if you have stayed off-camino in that lovely looking Casa Rural near the monastery and water falls, you will have some rejigging to do, but I personally think that little detour would be well worth it.

There is a lot of asphalt from Bandeira into Santiago, with one stretch I remember through a forested area (maybe it was between Bandeira and Dornelas?). But the roads are all very un-traveled and take you through little hamlets. And then as you get closer to Santiago, you are in a very Galician form of suburbia, with charming old stone houses close to the road you are walking on and newer construction of less charming but very sturdy looking single family homes with sturdier gates and fences around them.

More common stopping points than Lestedo are Ponte Ulla (13 km from Bandeira) or the albergue in Outeiro (18 km from Bandeira). I’ve stayed in both of these places, and the guide has a lot of information about your options there. All of these places for your “last night” will give you a comfortable walk into Santiago the next day (13 km from Lestedo, 18 from the albergue in Outeiro, and about 23 from Ponte Ulla).

As an aside, I was very sorry to see that the beautiful Pazo dos Galegos, https://pazodegalegos.com/en/ is listed as permanently closed on google maps, even though its website is still there to show you how beautiful it is! It is (or was) a combination small vineyard plus small hotel in the old pazo. I have never stayed here, though one year I got a long tour through the place from the daughter of the owners. It is a couple hundred meters downhill from the albergue in Outeiro. I guess that’s one splurge to take off the list, but since their website is still up and running, I’m going to hang onto the hope that they will reopen.

The only physically challenging part of this stage is the ascent from Ponte Ulla to Outeiro, (about 250 m elevation gain over about 5 km). Actually, the descent to Ponte Ulla, though it’s all on roads, may be more of a challenge than the subsequent ascent, at least if your knees are in as bad shape as mine were on one of my Caminos.

Sorry to see this ending soon!
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
Yes, much of the section after Bandeira is on asphalt, but it's pleasant.

If you stay in Reboredo, then Ponte Ulla is about 17km away - just about half way to Santiago. That may be a good enough reason to stop there. If you feel like splurging on a fancy meal, the restaurant villa verde is another feather in Ponte Ulla's cap:

In winter, the albergue was closed so I got a tiny, windowless, individual room at the Albergue-Pensión O Cruceiro da Ulla. Looking on the bright side, since the room was barely bigger than the bed, it warmed up really quickly.

If you stay at the Xunta albergue in Outeiro, remember to buy provisions when you pass through Ponte Ulla because there are no nearby shops or restaurants. Nada.

Another possibility that someone mentioned upthread is the Albergue Reina Lupa in A Susana. I estimate the distance from Bandeira to be 24.5km. It's a purpose built albergue with a dorm and two private rooms. The owner is super-friendly. She runs the bar/ pulperia next door. From there, it's just 9km to Santiago. One day I'll stay there. I like the idea of reaching the cathedral in time for the pilgrim mass.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
One day I'll stay there. I like the idea of reaching the cathedral in time for the pilgrim mass.
I usually walk with people who are crazy enough to want to do that no matter where we stay, so I have left as early as 4, maybe even earlier. You just need to set your alarm earlier, @Raggy!

restaurant villa verde
@Raggy did you eat there? @alansykes once recommended it highly I think. He has never steered me wrong with restaurant recommendations, and I had planned to eat there once, but something happened to change the plan. Next time!
 
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