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Questions about bars — need info for 2019 guide

#1
Hi, Invierno amigos,
I am starting to work on revisions for the forum guide, and have compiled as many comments as possible from those of you who posted here during 2018. Ozannie, Ranthr, t2andreo, amancio, and a few others have given me lots of material to work with.

So, my first issue has to do with bars, restaurants, etc. Not so much in the bigger places, but in the villages. The guide makes clear that you should not rely on finding things open during your actual walkin part of the day, but I do think it’s helpful to list what there is and when things may be open. So, any additions to these proposed revisions:

Toral de Mayo — Ranthr says that the only bar open at 9:30 was Bar Nogal. (Is that the one “across the bridge on the left” as described by one Invierno pilgrim?)

Santalla del Bierzo. Bar on highway is closed with a “for rent” sign. Café Bar Ronda in town looks to be permanently shut as well.

Priaranza del Bierzo — No open bar, even though guide lists Bar Taberna. It may be that it opens very late.

Belesar — Bar on the river has been re-opened. Any info on times?

Penasillás — Bar Cantina o Peto. Guide says it is supposed to open around 10. Ranthr found it open at 9, and the bar has a stamp! Guide also says that if you find it closed you shoud knock on the door on the right, because the family is happy to answer. Can anyone confirm that this is accurate?

Chantada — Bar Pio Lindo, which was reported closed in 2017, has re-opened with new owner. Is this Rachel? I think the 2018 guide got this information about the reopening.

As Médulas — Cafe Marife reported to have wifi. As Médulas has a lot of bars, but some may be closed during off-season. Any other experiences or recommendations here?

Bars in little hamlets before Rodeiro — years ago, the Camino went through the little hamlets of A Feira and Leboro, but I think it has been re-routed. One 2018 pilgrim wrote that she/he had food in a little bar outside Rodeiro called A Feira. That must be one of the places I stopped in years ago when the route went through the hamlets rather than alongside. Google maps shows Bar O Recanto in A Feira, could this be it?

Before Rodeiro — Kinky has written about Mesón Lamazares on the LU-P-1809, but I can’t find it on google maps or anywhere else. Is this possibly closed?

Any and all comments welcome! Glad to be getting started on this, buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#2
Toral de Mayo- I think Bar Nogal was in the town plaza, crossing the plaza after the bridge. The bar at the riverside near the bridge was closed when I passed.
Penasillás - since there were other peregrinos in the bar when I arrived, they might have called for the host.
As Médulas- only thing open when I arrived at 8 in the morning was the hostel up to the left when entering into town. They had a poster annoncing breakfast from 07.30 I think.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Podiensis 2002, Camino Frances 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012, Via de La Plata 2005, 2006. 2013, Camino Ingles 2013, Camino de Madrid 2008, Camino Salvador 2008, Camino del Norte 2010, Camino de Levante 2012,
Camino Mozarabe 2015, Camino Salvador 2015, Camino Primitivo 2015
#4
Hi Laurie!! You were right about the Invierno. It was marvellous!! Your guide was invaluable to us, and made any other guide unnecessary. One or two updates. Out of Barco De Balderdash. The Camino, clearly marked, after the Albergue goes through the village there and then crosses under the National road and continues there on asphalt all the way to the riverbank at Villamartin, bypassing both Arcos and Villamartin. You then go on passing a weir until the main road takes you in to A Rua. No other big route changes except the entrance into Montfort, which goes by the railway. We were prepared for it, but had no trouble with loose dogs, although we saw a few. Dangerous dogs were tied up, or behind a fence. The loose ones ignored us, as we ignored them! Perhaps they are getting used to pilgrims! I'm working on the Lana guide now. Perhaps you can help me with getting it onto the Forum. Best and a big hug to you. Kev
 
#6
Hi Laurie!! You were right about the Invierno. It was marvellous!! Your guide was invaluable to us, and made any other guide unnecessary. One or two updates. Out of Barco De Balderdash. The Camino, clearly marked, after the Albergue goes through the village there and then crosses under the National road and continues there on asphalt all the way to the riverbank at Villamartin, bypassing both Arcos and Villamartin. You then go on passing a weir until the main road takes you in to A Rua. No other big route changes except the entrance into Montfort, which goes by the railway. We were prepared for it, but had no trouble with loose dogs, although we saw a few. Dangerous dogs were tied up, or behind a fence. The loose ones ignored us, as we ignored them! Perhaps they are getting used to pilgrims! I'm working on the Lana guide now. Perhaps you can help me with getting it onto the Forum. Best and a big hug to you. Kev
Thanks, Kevin,

Your comments on Barco and Monforte raise issues that I am also going to have to struggle with a bit, so I will be sure to raise more questions as I go forward. Muchas gracias, amigo.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Podiensis 2002, Camino Frances 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012, Via de La Plata 2005, 2006. 2013, Camino Ingles 2013, Camino de Madrid 2008, Camino Salvador 2008, Camino del Norte 2010, Camino de Levante 2012,
Camino Mozarabe 2015, Camino Salvador 2015, Camino Primitivo 2015
#7
No worries Laurie. Your guide removed any hesitations we had, and writing this one, I can see how much work you put into it. Thanks again!
 

Ribeirasacra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
the highway
#8
Belesar No idea. The new owner is not a person who was very clear.
I do not know the name of the new owner of the first bar in Chantada (Pio Lindo). However, she came across as a very pleasant woman.
Yesterday was market day and Mesón Lucus was empty, including the bar.:(
 

Ribeirasacra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
the highway
#9
Oh another thing to note. There are new bars/restaurants popping up whilst others close in both Monforte de Lemos and Chantada. The situation is fluid.
 
#10
Oh another thing to note. There are new bars/restaurants popping up whilst others close in both Monforte de Lemos and Chantada. The situation is fluid.
Good point, Ribeirasacra. I think it’s kind of like chasing the wind for us to try to keep up with bars and cafés in the big towns and cities on the Invierno. I will focus on the tiny places.

Mesón Lucus empty on market day?! That suggests the new owners haven’t really made a sustained splash in town. Are there new go-to places?
 
#11
Hi Laurie!! You were right about the Invierno. It was marvellous!! Your guide was invaluable to us, and made any other guide unnecessary. One or two updates. Out of Barco De Balderdash. The Camino, clearly marked, after the Albergue goes through the village there and then crosses under the National road and continues there on asphalt all the way to the riverbank at Villamartin, bypassing both Arcos and Villamartin. You then go on passing a weir until the main road takes you in to A Rua. No other big route changes except the entrance into Montfort, which goes by the railway. We were prepared for it, but had no trouble with loose dogs, although we saw a few. Dangerous dogs were tied up, or behind a fence. The loose ones ignored us, as we ignored them! Perhaps they are getting used to pilgrims! I'm working on the Lana guide now. Perhaps you can help me with getting it onto the Forum. Best and a big hug to you. Kev
Kevin, it sounds like you took the “old” route. Can you give me any reaction to what I re-wrote here — https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...the-camino-through-barco-de-valdeorras.58868/
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (2017,2018)
Via Turonensis (Paris-Chartres,2018)
Camino de Invierno (Dec2018/Jan2019)
#12
Here's my list of bars and restaurants along the Invierno:

Toral de Merayo: Café Bar Nogal appeared to be the only bar working in the late morning. I found it to be a really nice place with good coffee and some very friendly locals who looked very pleased to see someone walking the Invierno and even gave me advice on where to find albergues on the route!

As Médulas: I came there in the late afternoon on Saturday, which may account for quite a lot of open bars and restaurants. In fact, I'm not sure that I saw a single closed bar! However, no bars or restaurants on the way from Casa Socorro where I stayed out of the town (was not a problem, really, as Casa Socorro provides a breakfast of toasts, butter, jam, milk, and cookies).

Puente de Domingo Flórez and beyond, up until Sobradelo: nada. Everything along the Camino was closed, and I chose not to veer off as I had to walk a long way that day.

Sobradelo: bar Pontenova and Bar Mar were both open. I stopped at Pontenova for a sandwich (not really great, but with lots of cheese and ham) and a glass of local white wine (which was marvellous!), and then popped into Bar Mar for a coffee (and a stamp). This turned out to be a very pilgrim-friendly bar, and they have a beautiful stamp!

O Barco de Valdeorras: Bar Roque is indeed very pilgrim-friendly, and if you order a glass of wine, they'll give you a small plate of chickpeas with meat. Very tasty!

A Rua: I was very much looking forward to a second breakfast/lunch at Bar Pepa, but it wouldn't open until later in the day, so I went to O Cuatro (O4) - another bar located almost directly opposite. Great place for snack or breakfast, really good toasts with cheese and ham.

Quiroga: Bar Quiper was open in the early morning of January 1 (and looked liked it didn't even close for the night :)). All other bars I've passed by were closed.

A Pobra do Brollón: Café Bar Restaurante Avenida, just before the crossing where the Camino makes a left turn. Great place for a snack: a glass of local wine and a couple of tapas for just 1 euro!

Monforte de Lemos: Restaurante Cardenal on the main pedestrian street, great tapas and friendly staff. Highly recommended!

Café Chokolat in Rúa do Comercio opens rather early and offers lots of delicious cakes, so, if you arrived on Monday when the Oficina de Turismo (apparently, about the only place where you can stamp your credential in Monforte) is closed, this is a very good place to have breakfast and wait for the Oficina to open at 10.

The bar Puente Romano mentioned in the guide was closed in the evening, but open next morning as I passed by, so I decided to pop in for a coffee. The bartender must have had a rough morning, as he looked extremely unfriendly, and the smell inside the bar was surprisingly unpleasant :(

I didn't encounter any open bars or restaurants between Monforte and Chantada, but found a very nice pizzeria Agocho in Chantada, conveniently near both the hostals mentioned in the guide as suitable places to stay. Actually, it was recommended to me by the owner of the Hostal Yoel where I stayed; this pizzeria has a good menu with a choice of platos combinados - for 6 euros, you get a large plate of tasty hot food, yummy! And the red wine is also remarkably good!

I also second the guide's recommendation of Panadería Ascensión, although it only offers bread and pastries. But the pastries are excellent, and it's a really pleasant place, obviously very much loved by the locals: they kept popping in for fresh bread and a chat with the staff, very nice and friendly people, too. As I finished my breakfast and walked out, one of the bakers shouted Buen Camino to me from the kitchen :)

Penasillás: the bar O Peto was open, so I didn't have to knock on the owners' door. Great place, highly recommended to drop by, especially if you're going to Monte Faro! And yes, they have a stamp, and a very nice one :)

Rodeiro: lots of bars, and bar Desito on the main street, Avenida Lalín-Monforte, serves excellent (I mean, excellent) potato cake. Especially good with white wine with ice. When I asked for the check, I was told that one of the patrons had already paid for me, this was very touching indeed!

The bar at the Hostal Carpinteiras where I stayed is also very good, and the people are extremely friendly - I got some extra cookies and tapas with my coffee.

Next day, I decided to walk from Rodeiro to Lalín along the highway, and stopped at the Taberna Do Tais someplace between these two towns for a coffee and a donut. It looked closed, but when I tried the door, it opened, and I wasn't even the only guest. The bartender wasn't really friendly, though, but she might have had a bad day. Overall, it's a good place for a coffee; there was at least one other open restaurant before, but located too near a Nucamsa plant, and so in a quite smelly area.

Lalín: I went to A Casa do Gato, just because I liked the description in the guide and counted on its having a stamp, since it was owned by the president of a local Camino association :) The bar itself and its staff turned out to be amazing, so very friendly people and so very tasty food! And they do have a stamp, of course.

Silleda: Bar Toxa only offers pulpo on Tuesdays, but their sandwiches are very good, so very much recommended for a snack.

Bandeira: Bar Arume, also a great place for a snack for you (if you order a glass of wine, you get some chips and olives, and there's also a snack menu) and a stamp for your credential.

Dornelas: Casa Leiras, bar and albergue run by Andrea and Cristina, very nice and friendly Italians in Galicia. Best coffee I've had in Spain (and I'm a huge fan of coffee!). Very much recommended, especially to English and Italian speakers :) They have a stamp, too.

Puente Ulla: O churrasco de Juanito seemed to be about the only bar open in the afternoon, but it's, frankly, not the best place for food or drink: the coffee is mediocre, and the people rather indifferent. If you aren't starving yet and don't need a stamp (and starving and needing a stamp are unlikely if you've passed through Silleda, Bandeira, and Dornelas with their bars), better stock up on provision in the Dia supermarket and make use of the kitchen in the albergue at Outeiro - contrary to what the guide currently says, it's very well equipped and even has salt, oil, and some spices!

(Okay, that was a lot, but I really appreciated the detailed information in the guide, so I hope all this will also be of use!)
 
Last edited:

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
#13
A Rua - O Retorno at the bottom of the road from the albergue was good, only raciones but truly excellent quality and the owner was clearly aware and interested in the Invierno.

Chantada - Cafe Amedeo's was great. No food in the evening until 2100, but then menu la dia at 10 euros with lots of meat. Then they ask if you want more!

Rodeiro - I stayed in Pension O Guerra and they have great food and excellent home made Tarte de Santiago!
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
#14
It was great to read your experience. I'm delighted that you met the super friendly people at A Casa do Gato in Lalín! I want everyone to meet them.
 

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