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Some advice re the Camino Invierno

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doncolin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, Plata, Francés, Augusta, Norte, Primitivo, Portugués, Invierno
Based on a walk in May 2019 . . .

Well before you actually walk it, read up on this recently (re)establishedcamino, recognised officially since 2015. Be aware that you won't be able to avail yourself of facilities that exist on more established and more frequented caminos.

Speaking Spanish is very useful on this camino. If not essential.

Accommodation options - whether albergues or hotels - are not yet as regularly spaced as they are on other caminos. Unless you take a tent, you'll need to check out this aspect carefully.

There are few places to stock up with food and drink on this camino and we found only one bar open - in Puente de Domingo Flórez - until we got to the outskirts of Laxe on day 6.The public holiday of day 2 (Friday 17 May) was possibly a factor but it's best to make sure you have food and drink enough for several hours. There wasthough a shop next to the (closed) café in Toral de Morayo on Day 1, where we were able to get stuff for the sandwiches we later ate in Villavieja. Which was a very good move.

You need to be fit to very fit to tackle the climbs on this camino, especially the (beautiful but tough) route via Villavieja up to the Cornatel castle on Day1. If not, you can always go via the easier, shorter option after Santalla. But, on the latter case, you'll miss the fabulous views of the castle above you as you climb up from the N536, through the old mining village of Villavieja.

Even if you are fit, you'll surely benefit from using poles. I would say they are essential for parts of this camino.

In Castilla y León, the direction you walk in is the blunt end of the stylised conch shell on the signs (mojones), whereas in Galicia it's the 'feathered' end. But not always. And near A Laxe, there's a sign with both alternatives on it. Best to go with the direction of the accompanying arrows.

As of May 2019, you'll meet very few other pilgrims until you hit theCamino Sanabrés in Laxe. We saw just 1 in 5 days. But we did see him twice!

Some stretches on this caminopass through narrow, walled lanes in the middle of forests - e. g. from Diamondi down to Belesar. Very beautiful but, personally, I wouldn't like to think of either of my daughters walking these. Not everyone will be as concerned . . .

Consider going up to the mirador(viewpoint) de Orellón,overlookingLas Médulas. Stunning. And don't miss the 500m detour to the secondmirador of Las Pedrices after Las Médulas. Just as impressive, with plenty of information on the Roman mining methods.

Every guide I've read has the road from the Fontela/Fión crossroads northwards towards Belesar via Vilaravides, Vilatiñosa, etc. as the LU-P-5817 but it's actually the LU-P-5807. I have photos of the signs to prove it! Google Maps does have it correctly.

Which reminds me . . .If you're going to use your GPS or Google Maps, you need to know that the name of almost every village you want to know about is duplicated - if not triplicated or even quadruplicated - elsewhere in Galicia. Which can be veryconfusing. Sometimes you can only find one of the others and not the one you want.

Also be aware that city, town and village names can be in either Spanish or Galician. Or be with or without the definite article in Galician. For example:
Orense and Ourense
Laxe and A Laxe
Bandeira and A Bandeira

Once you hit the Camino Sanabrés at Laxe, the rural pongs are strong. And familiar if, like me, you hail from Cheshire in the UK.

Signage is generally very good but we missed a couple of turn-offs between Laxe and Bandeira. And at the entrance to the Polígono Lalín 2000 just before Laxe, when you come out of the woods near the Hotel Spa Norat. Just turn right and head for the large roundabout and the tunnel under the motorway, after which you'll arrive at the Laxealbergue.

The best news I can give you is that my walking colleague Geoff Jones, has produced a very accurate map of this camino, as least for the stretches we walked. Because we had only 7 days and because hotel accommodation was not available everywhere, we sometimes availed ourselves of transport to make sure we could get to Santiago in the time available, while walking a decent distance each day. Here's the link to Geoff's map.

Note:-
- You can, of course, increase or decrease the detail of this map.
- The blue line is the route we followed, where we actually walked. Starting and ending in our hotel/pension/hostel.
- Gaps are where we used my car.
- The brown line is what someone else has put in as the Camino.
- They normally coincide but there were places where we followed the yellow arrows and the path is different from the brown line shown in this map. Geoff theorised that the latter had been drawn up by a cyclist/motor-cyclist. If in doubt, follow the arrows!
- They also briefly deviate where we went wrong . . .
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Thank you, @doncolin .
I second the advice not to miss the Castilo Coronatel. That whole stretch was gorgeous, and really special. The castle closes at 2, so don't dawdle in the lowlands on cafe if you want to get in. Even if you can't get in go up anyway. The view is spectacular.

QUOTE="doncolin, post: 752037, member: 88645"]
As of May 2019, you'll meet very few other pilgrims until you hit theCamino Sanabrés in Laxe. We saw just 1 in 5 days.
[/QUOTE]
I must be in a wave, or you were in a trough, Don. So far:
8 Spanish pilgrims passed me on day 1 to Borrenes
I Spanish woman, a couple, and three super fit guys from Barcellona on day 3 to Sobradelo.
Today I've met no-one (I'm now in A Rua), but am walking the same stages as a German peregria who started on the same day.

I'm having better luck with bars, but missed the churria in Puente D.F. that others have enjoyed. Alas.;)
 

doncolin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, Plata, Francés, Augusta, Norte, Primitivo, Portugués, Invierno
Here's the link to Geoff Jones page, where you can find the link to all his many fotos, I think . . .

 

doncolin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, Plata, Francés, Augusta, Norte, Primitivo, Portugués, Invierno
Thank you, @doncolin .
I second the advice not to miss the Castilo Coronatel. That whole stretch was gorgeous, and really special. The castle closes at 2, so don't dawdle in the lowlands on cafe if you want to get in. Even if you can't get in go up anyway. The view is spectacular.

QUOTE="doncolin, post: 752037, member: 88645"]
As of May 2019, you'll meet very few other pilgrims until you hit theCamino Sanabrés in Laxe. We saw just 1 in 5 days.
I must be in a wave, or you were in a trough, Don. So far:
8 Spanish pilgrims passed me on day 1 to Borrenes
I Spanish woman, a couple, and three super fit guys from Barcellona on day 3 to Sobradelo.
Today I've met no-one (I'm now in A Rua), but am walking the same stages as a German peregria who started on the same day.

I'm having better luck with bars, but missed the churria in Puente D.F. that others have enjoyed. Alas.;)
[/QUOTE]

I second the advice not to miss the Castilo Coronatel.
Especially beautiful is the tree-lined path from Villavieja to the castle. HUGE trees (chestnuts) possibly hundreds of years old. See Geoff Jones' fotos.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
Thanks for this thread. I'm considering the Invierno for next year as part of a larger camino, so this will come in very handy if I do decide to do it!
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
There are few places to stock up with food and drink on this camino and we found only one bar open - in Puente de Domingo Flórez - until we got to the outskirts of Laxe on day 6.

You're joking!!!!!!!!! There are plenty on most stages. I know, as I've been in them all!!!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
There are few places to stock up with food and drink on this camino and we found only one bar open - in Puente de Domingo Flórez - until we got to the outskirts of Laxe on day 6.

You're joking!!!!!!!!! There are plenty on most stages. I know, as I've been in them all!!!
Same here. Bars are plenty, you can believe me :D
And needing a tent??? Are you serious @doncolin ???
Please, don't scare people off. I walked Invierno in 2014 and the infrastructure was more than adequate even then. If you didn't find albergues, pensiones, hostales and bares/restaurantes on this Camino then it's really a puzzle for me where did you actually walk...

Just for example about bars. After Puente de Domingo Flores and all the way to A Laxe I was drinking in bars in:
- Sobradelo
- Entoma (reportedly closed/opened on/off)
- O Barco de Valdeorras
- Arcos
- Vilamartin de Valdeorras
- A Rua de Valdeorras
- Soldon
- Os Novais
- Quiroga
- Barxa de Lor
- A Pobra de Brollon
- Monforte de Lemos
- Belesar
- Chantada
- Penasillas
- Mouriz
- Rodeiro
- 2 bars on the EP-6203 from Rodeiro to Lalin
- Lalin
- poligono industrial Lalin

That's 21 bars you didn't find!!! Even in the towns big enough to have hospitals, train stations, supermercados, highschools etc. etc. And they are all right on the Camino :D :D :D

Mods may delete my post as not being polite but the OP is just not right. It's largely misleading. And many forum members can prove that. I would even say it's trolling.
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Same here. Bars are plenty, you can believe me :D
And needing a tent??? Are you serious @doncolin ???
Please, don't scare people off. I walked Invierno in 2014 and the infrastructure was more than adequate even then. If you didn't find albergues, pensiones, hostales and bares/restaurantes on this Camino then it's really a puzzle for me where did you actually walked...

Just for example about bars. After Puente de Domingo Flores and all the way to A Laxe I was drinking in bars in:
- Sobradelo
- Entoma (reportedly closed/opened on/off)
- O Barco de Valdeorras
- Arcos
- Vilamartin de Valdeorras
- A Rua de Valdeorras
- Soldon
- Os Novais
- Quiroga
- Barxa de Lor
- A Pobra de Brollon
- Monforte de Lemos
- Belesar
- Chantada
- Penasillas
- Mouriz
- Rodeiro
- 2 bars on the EP-6203 from Rodeiro to Lalin
- Lalin
- poligono industrial Lalin

That's 21 bars you didn't find!!! Even in the towns big enough to have hospitals, train stations, supermercados, highschools etc. etc. And they are all right on the Camino :D :D :D

Mods may delete my post as not being polite but the OP is just not right. It's largely misleading. And many forum members can prove that. I would even say it's trolling.
Hold your horses, K1! ;) I don't think it is trolling. But I agree with you it is not an accurate picture of the Invierno. Most of the bars are right on the camino - I honestly don't know how the OP could have missed them…! o_O
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hold your horses, K1! ;) I don't think it is trolling. But I agree with you it is not an accurate picture of the Invierno. Most of the bars are right on the camino - I honestly don't know how the OP could have missed them…! o_O
Well, sometimes I just can't hold my horses. I guess it's Slavic/Mediterranean blood :D
 

doncolin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, Plata, Francés, Augusta, Norte, Primitivo, Portugués, Invierno
OK, firstly let me stress it was never my intention to scare anyone off this beautiful, if challengjng, camino. Quite the opposite, my comments were meant to help future 'pilgrims'. I did think this was rather obvious.

Secondly, I apologise for any inadvertent misrepresentation or overstatement. And for my 'throw-away' comment re a tent. Attempts at humour are often misunderstood.

A few facts should put my remarks in a context that I should have explained:-

1. ACCOMMODATION: I am a (very) senior citizen who doesn't share rooms. I, therefore, don't do albergues or dormitories elsewhere. Finding hotels or pensiones at reasonable distances apart really was a more difficult task here than for any of the other cameos I've done, with the possible exception of parts of the Primitivo, So, I didn't research albergues and am as ignorant of their existence as you suggest. We did pass one at Laxe and I know there is one in Chantada, as the one guy we saw told us that he'd been the only person in the albergue there with 100-120 beds. And I guess there are albergues in Quiroga, Chantada and Lalín, for example. As I live right on the Camino Portuguese, I'm well aware that the great majority of the 100,000 pilgrims expected this year - up from only 5,000 10 years ago - will carry rucksacks and sleep in albergues. So, for this type of (real/hardy) pilgrim I'm sure it'll be comforting to know that there are sufficient places to sleep on this camino. And that a tent won't be needed.

2. REFRESHMENTS: Firstly, I didn't, of course, mean to imply there were no bars, cafés or restaurant in the towns you list. This would have been truly ridiculous. I meant in the small villages that you pass through en route to these. Secondly, as the map I cited shows, we didn't walk the entire 230-250km from Ponferrada to SdC. So, again, I am ignorant of bars, cafés and restaurants in these stretches. I was talking about the route through small villages, where we really did see few places open. I say 'open' because we did pass places that were closed, for example in Torcal and Las Médulas. That said, I do now recall a bar/restaurant in Borrenes and another in A Pobra da Brillón, where I chatted to the PSOE mayoral candidate about his plans to turn the Guardia civil ex-barracks there into an albergue and ethnographic museum. Sadly, he wasn't elected. I don't recall bars in other small places you cite such as Soldón but, as I say, we did see some that were closed. Maybe the time of day is critical. And there are 2 ways to get across the river at Soldón. Perhaps there's a bar on the (longer) option we didn't take. All that said, based on our experience when passing through the many small villages on the stretches we did, I stand by my comment that it'd be wise to have plenty of liquid and something to eat in your rucksack. No harm done if I am wrong and there are, in fact, plenty of places to drink in.

As for suggesting I'm a troll, well I leave that to others to decide. I do wonder why you would be afraid the moderator would not allow your comment.
 

doncolin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, Plata, Francés, Augusta, Norte, Primitivo, Portugués, Invierno
Sorry, not Torcal but Toral (de Morayo).
 

doncolin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, Plata, Francés, Augusta, Norte, Primitivo, Portugués, Invierno
By the way, if anyone wants to read my daily comments on our experience, they can be found d at the end of these blog posts:-
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
OK, I have to appologize about mentioning trolling. I sincerely do and I won't delete this mishap of mine!

Another thing is you didn't mention there were no bars in "small villages", you mentioned there were none from PdDF to A Laxe! How would a first timer know what you meant??? And then again you didn't walked the whole distance as you mentioned in your last post. Sorry but for me this is misleading info commenting on the whole Camino.

I can get you a list of Casas rurales and pensiones and hotels almost in the Camino Frances distances on Invierno. But OK, maybe not for every budget.

Liquids? I found fuentes in every little village except those completely abandoned. And I only remember one such ;)

I believe your intentions were good but you have to be very specific and you were not. I'm Camino veteran (as you are) and I can read between the lines even in guides but a "scared" first timer shouldn't be even more "scared" because we are negligent with out postings.

I wish you many more Caminos! And a nice day :)
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
We walked last month and took 16 days. Plenty of private rooms, in fact we stayed in the albergues that were available and that’s only like 5? Even they had the option of private room for my hubby and I.
I don’t think this Camino is particularly tough. The hardest slog was the last mile up to the albergue in Villavieja. I didn’t do any walking leading up to the trip due to work obligations and just laziness. I’m 53 and hubby is 56.
The worst thing about this Camino is the seemingly non stop road walking ( hard on the feet). It’s very safe. No reason for women to be afraid.
I’ll be updating my blog this weekend with my notes and pictures.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
"...seemingly non stop road walking."
???
I guess they put tarmac on every meter I walked in 2014. Even first few kms from Ponferrada (after the factory), up to Villavieja and Cornatel, half way from Borrenes to Las Medulas, the whole way from Las Medulas to Puente de Domingo Flores, almost all the way to Sobradelo, along/above the Rio Sil, down from Bendillo and over Monte Faro to name just a few? Not likely! :D :D :D

Memory can play tricks on us. Definitely. Want some photos? My day-by-day journal is pin pointed in Invierno subforum. With photos. You're welcome.

@Charrito will chime in soon I'm sure!
 
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Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
I can vouch for what KinkyOne has written about the infrastructure on the Invierno. Both of us have been contributing to the forum guide (edited these days by our good friend peregrina2000) for many years.

I myself was inspired by KinkyOne to walk this camino for the first time, and since then I have been back up there many times (next trip starting this weekend). It does help when you live in Salamanca, of course!

My contribution to the guide has consisted mainly of updating information on bars, cafés, restaurants, hostals/pensiones etc., as well as coming up with a couple of alternatives to shorten some of the longer stages without 'cheating' (Montefurado or Escairón, for example).

I have to agree with KinkyOne that if anyone reads doncolin's post about the lack of places for refreshments, for example, then it might well put them off what for many of us is one of the most unspoilt, beautiful, fantastic caminos.

I have often posted jokingly on here about keeping the Invierno as our little 'secret', as we don't want it to end up like the Francés. As doncolin mentions, the Portugués is now getting seriously overcrowded.

Therefore, I can categorically state that there is not a single place to stop between Ponferrada and A Laxe: nowhere to sleep, nowhere to drink, nowhere to eat!

Sorry, it's early here and that's my attempt at English humour!
 
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Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
I really like the map mentioned in the OP. It's by far the most detailed that I've come across for the Invierno.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
I really like the map mentioned in the OP. It's by far the most detailed that I've come across for the Invierno.
I posted a few years ago about this one:

 

Pruden

Pilgrim of life
Camino(s) past & future
October 2012 Camino Francés Sarria /Santiago.
November 2013 Camino Francés
León to Sarria
June 2014 Camino Francés San Juan Pie de Port to Logroño.
November 2016 Camino Frances ,Logroño to León.
Based on a walk in May 2019 . . .

Well before you actually walk it, read up on this recently (re)establishedcamino, recognised officially since 2015. Be aware that you won't be able to avail yourself of facilities that exist on more established and more frequented caminos.

Speaking Spanish is very useful on this camino. If not essential.

Accommodation options - whether albergues or hotels - are not yet as regularly spaced as they are on other caminos. Unless you take a tent, you'll need to check out this aspect carefully.

There are few places to stock up with food and drink on this camino and we found only one bar open - in Puente de Domingo Flórez - until we got to the outskirts of Laxe on day 6.The public holiday of day 2 (Friday 17 May) was possibly a factor but it's best to make sure you have food and drink enough for several hours. There wasthough a shop next to the (closed) café in Toral de Morayo on Day 1, where we were able to get stuff for the sandwiches we later ate in Villavieja. Which was a very good move.

You need to be fit to very fit to tackle the climbs on this camino, especially the (beautiful but tough) route via Villavieja up to the Cornatel castle on Day1. If not, you can always go via the easier, shorter option after Santalla. But, on the latter case, you'll miss the fabulous views of the castle above you as you climb up from the N536, through the old mining village of Villavieja.

Even if you are fit, you'll surely benefit from using poles. I would say they are essential for parts of this camino.

In Castilla y León, the direction you walk in is the blunt end of the stylised conch shell on the signs (mojones), whereas in Galicia it's the 'feathered' end. But not always. And near A Laxe, there's a sign with both alternatives on it. Best to go with the direction of the accompanying arrows.

As of May 2019, you'll meet very few other pilgrims until you hit theCamino Sanabrés in Laxe. We saw just 1 in 5 days. But we did see him twice!

Some stretches on this caminopass through narrow, walled lanes in the middle of forests - e. g. from Diamondi down to Belesar. Very beautiful but, personally, I wouldn't like to think of either of my daughters walking these. Not everyone will be as concerned . . .

Consider going up to the mirador(viewpoint) de Orellón,overlookingLas Médulas. Stunning. And don't miss the 500m detour to the secondmirador of Las Pedrices after Las Médulas. Just as impressive, with plenty of information on the Roman mining methods.

Every guide I've read has the road from the Fontela/Fión crossroads northwards towards Belesar via Vilaravides, Vilatiñosa, etc. as the LU-P-5817 but it's actually the LU-P-5807. I have photos of the signs to prove it! Google Maps does have it correctly.

Which reminds me . . .If you're going to use your GPS or Google Maps, you need to know that the name of almost every village you want to know about is duplicated - if not triplicated or even quadruplicated - elsewhere in Galicia. Which can be veryconfusing. Sometimes you can only find one of the others and not the one you want.

Also be aware that city, town and village names can be in either Spanish or Galician. Or be with or without the definite article in Galician. For example:
Orense and Ourense
Laxe and A Laxe
Bandeira and A Bandeira

Once you hit the Camino Sanabrés at Laxe, the rural pongs are strong. And familiar if, like me, you hail from Cheshire in the UK.

Signage is generally very good but we missed a couple of turn-offs between Laxe and Bandeira. And at the entrance to the Polígono Lalín 2000 just before Laxe, when you come out of the woods near the Hotel Spa Norat. Just turn right and head for the large roundabout and the tunnel under the motorway, after which you'll arrive at the Laxealbergue.

The best news I can give you is that my walking colleague Geoff Jones, has produced a very accurate map of this camino, as least for the stretches we walked. Because we had only 7 days and because hotel accommodation was not available everywhere, we sometimes availed ourselves of transport to make sure we could get to Santiago in the time available, while walking a decent distance each day. Here's the link to Geoff's map.

Note:-
- You can, of course, increase or decrease the detail of this map.
- The blue line is the route we followed, where we actually walked. Starting and ending in our hotel/pension/hostel.
- Gaps are where we used my car.
- The brown line is what someone else has put in as the Camino.
- They normally coincide but there were places where we followed the yellow arrows and the path is different from the brown line shown in this map. Geoff theorised that the latter had been drawn up by a cyclist/motor-cyclist. If in doubt, follow the arrows!
- They also briefly deviate where we went wrong . . .
 

Pruden

Pilgrim of life
Camino(s) past & future
October 2012 Camino Francés Sarria /Santiago.
November 2013 Camino Francés
León to Sarria
June 2014 Camino Francés San Juan Pie de Port to Logroño.
November 2016 Camino Frances ,Logroño to León.
I totally agree with you about it, this is not Camino Francés, del Norte , Portugués or Inglés.
To years ago I walked at the en of October and beginning of November and I did no meet any single pilgrims till the day before arriving to Santiago, there was very difficult to get supplies in many different villages ........ because many of them are almost empty of people, even water was not easy to find because of a very dry fall.
On the other hand is a very beautiful Camino indeed, but still kind of Wild.
For sure is not for a girl to walk alone, I even got lost and make near 50 kilometers one journey.
Don’t be afraid to walk it I you’re fit enough and you don’t want to see to many peoples.

To me is very similar to Camino Lebaniego/Vadiniense that I just finished two weeks ago ( Wild and pretty and hard to walk)!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
For sure is not for a girl to walk alone
I beg to differ, as that's exactly what I'm doing right now. ;)
A local lady told me today I was muy fuerte for walking solo, and I didn't have the language to try to dissuade her. But that, I'm not.

It IS a pretty empty way, as compared to the Frances, and there are long gaps with only a few fuentes...but no bars? Plenty, in the bigger towns. Good and cheap, too.
 
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doncolin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, Plata, Francés, Augusta, Norte, Primitivo, Portugués, Invierno
OK, I have to appologize about mentioning trolling. I sincerely do and I won't delete this mishap of mine!

Another thing is you didn't mention there were no bars in "small villages", you mentioned there were none from PdDF to A Laxe! How would a first timer know what you meant??? And then again you didn't walked the whole distance as you mentioned in your last post. Sorry but for me this is misleading info commenting on the whole Camino.

I can get you a list of Casas rurales and pensiones and hotels almost in the Camino Frances distances on Invierno. But OK, maybe not for every budget.

Liquids? I found fuentes in every little village except those completely abandoned. And I only remember one such ;)

I believe your intentions were good but you have to be very specific and you were not. I'm Camino veteran (as you are) and I can read between the lines even in guides but a "scared" first timer shouldn't be even more "scared" because we are negligent with out postings.

I wish you many more Caminos! And a nice day :)
Thank-you.

I accept it was misleading and have apologised for that.

But you'll have to forgive me for smiling at this new comment I've just read from VMwalking on the thread "Finally the invierno".
"Day 1. Ponferrada to Borrenes
I stopped for coffee by the bridge in Toral de Merayo at Café Nogal, and found nothing else open the rest of the day, being too lazy to go looking much."

This cafe was closed the day we did it, though the shop next to it wasn't. So, maybe we can. at least agree it's hard to find a bar open between Ponferrada and Borrenes . . . :)
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Thank-you.

I accept it was misleading and have apologised for that.

But you'll have to forgive me for smiling at this new comment I've just read from VMwalking on the thread "Finally the invierno".
"Day 1. Ponferrada to Borrenes
I stopped for coffee by the bridge in Toral de Merayo at Café Nogal, and found nothing else open the rest of the day, being too lazy to go looking much."

This cafe was closed the day we did it, though the shop next to it wasn't. So, maybe we can. at least agree it's hard to find a bar open between Ponferrada and Borrenes . . . :)
Not true at all:

This is what is in the Invierno Guide, which I have helped to put together:

After Toral de Merayo:

2.6km Villalibre de la Jurisdicción

Fountain. Bar la Estrella is along the highway, but the Camino passes through the middle of town and does not pass that bar. Bar Ruta 98 is a short walk from the center of town on the way to the main road.

1.5 km Priaranza del Bierzo

Fountain, Farmacia, Bar in town with pharmacy on the right and another one along the road leaving town with small shop adjoining. (Bar Taberna “El Sitio de mi Recreo” nice patio and recommended as “cozy” but does not open till late).

2.0 km Santalla del Bierzo

Bar on the highway is closed with a “for rent” sign in the window. Another (Café Bar Ronda) is on the right end of the village. If it appears closed, the owner – who lives upstairs – will (and is happy to) open for you. Tables on the terrace have lovely views.

Get your facts right, please.
 

VNwalking

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we can. at least agree it's hard to find a bar open between Ponferrada and Borrenes
Yup. At least on the day and at the time when we were there. ;)
But I didn't go looking either, so I hesitate to make any blanket statements...because they'd be wrong, as @Charrito's quotes attest.
I'm still sorry to have missed the churreria in Puente de Domingo Flores. Serves me right for being there at the wrong time. Ditto whatever action there is in Las Medulas.

Edit...one thing to say more seriously: bars may not be right on the camino. But that doesn't mean they don't exist. Hence my comment about being too lazy to look...
 

KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...
This cafe was closed the day we did it, though the shop next to it wasn't. So, maybe we can. at least agree it's hard to find a bar open between Ponferrada and Borrenes . . . :)
Well, I guess you really must've had bad luck. I've found three bars opened in Toral, one in Villalibre, two in Priaranza, one in Santalla and two in Borrenes. Not bad statistics on this distance ;)
 

Charrito

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Well, I guess you really must've had bad luck. I've found three bars opened in Toral, one in Villalibre, two in Priaranza, one in Santalla and two in Borrenes. Not bad statistics on this distance ;)
Ready my post, KInkyOne.
 

Charrito

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Yup. At least on the day and at the time when we were there. ;)
But I didn't go looking either, so I hesitate to make any blanket statements...because they'd be wrong, as @Charrito's quotes attest.
I'm still sorry to have missed the churreria in Puente de Domingo Flores. Serves me right for being there at the wrong time. Ditto whatever action there is in Las Medulas.
More information:
8.1 km Puente de Domingo Flórez


As you are descending on the Calle Real, look for the Calle el Toral (on your right before you get all the way down to the river). Turning right here will take you to Café Bar Los Arcos before the square. There is a churrería in the main square. Keep walking straight, and you’ll come to Bar el Cruce (very pilgrim friendly) and will be back on the Camino and on Avenida de Orense. The Camino continues on Calle Chao de Marco, a left turn off Avenida de Orense.

There are plenty of places in Las Médulas, starting with O Camiño Real at the start of the village. I would calculate that there are around 8 to 10 places to stop for refreshments there.
 

VNwalking

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Accuracy is one thing - and yeah, gross generalization from a single experience is never a good idea.
But haven't you had that experience of walking into a town to find it completely shuttered, like everyone left for the day? Or to find that promised services just don't exist (for example what visitor's information in A Rua? I couldn't find it and locals told me there wasn't one.)
 

Charrito

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Accuracy is one thing - and yeah, gross generalization from a single experience is never a good idea.
But haven't you had that experience of walking into a town to find it completely shuttered, like everyone left for the day? Or to find that promised services just don't exist (for example what visitor's information in A Rua? I couldn't find it and locals told me there wasn't one.)
Misleading or inaccurate information is not what we have in the Invierno Guide that we have taken great pains to keep as up to date as possible on this forum. With Laurie (peregrina2000) in charge, we regularly bombard her with new information, particularly around December time, when it's time for the new version to be edited.

Other sites, such as Gronze, are light years behind us in that respect.

Take Puente de Domnigo Flórez as a good example: It's crazy to follow the road all the way down and then go around the other side of the river. My suggestion is very clear:

As you are descending on the Calle Real, look for the Calle el Toral (on your right before you get all the way down to the river). Turning right here will take you to Café Bar Los Arcos before the square. There is a churrería in the main square. Keep walking straight, and you’ll come to Bar el Cruce (very pilgrim friendly) and will be back on the Camino and on Avenida de Orense. The Camino continues on Calle Chao de Marco, a left turn off Avenida de Orense.

You may well miss the churrería in the Plaza de Toral, but there is no way you can miss Bar el Cruce.

Here are some interesting stats:

Estadísticas mes de mayo del 2019: Los caminos que han seguido la mayoría de los peregrinos son Frances-Camino de con 25.705 (55,07%); Portugués-Camino con 10.455 (22,40%); Costa Camino Portugues con 2.952 (6,32%); Norte-Camino de con 1.992 (4,27%); Primitivo-Camino con 1.911 (4,09%); Ingles-Camino con 1.742 (3,73%); Via de la Plata con 1.430 (3,06%); Invierno de Camino con 208 (0,45%); Otros caminos con 163 (0,35%); Muxia-Finisterre con 114 (0,24%); con 1 (0,00%); etc.

The lack of infrastructure on the Camino de Invierno puts some people off this marvellous route. If they then read posts here or on other sites claiming that there is absolutely nowhere to stop then this camino will never prosper. That's fine by me, by the way.:p:p:p

Incidentally, yesterday (Friday) 1,975 pilgrims arrived in Santiago de Compostela. How many of those do you reckon walked the Invierno? Fingers on one hand?

I rest my case!
 

KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Accuracy is one thing - and yeah, gross generalization from a single experience is never a good idea.
But haven't you had that experience of walking into a town to find it completely shuttered, like everyone left for the day? Or to find that promised services just don't exist (for example what visitor's information in A Rua? I couldn't find it and locals told me there wasn't one.)
You're right, it happened to me a few times but more or less because of old info I gathered on-line and beibg stingy on international calls I didn't check the accuracy of the info.

For example there should be a muni albergue on Sanabres in Sta.Maria de Vilavella (first village after you enter Galicia) but it's non existent. Although it was few years ago but it was off the Camino few hundred meters and people just didn't care to stay there so the municipality simply closed it. I learned that from the locals a year ago.

But otherwise on all of my 10 Caminos I was never really in a situation where no bed, no food, no liquids would be combined. I guess I just have a talent to find an open bar even in the remote areas :D
 

VNwalking

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no way you can miss Bar el Cruce.
I didn't. Alas, it was not open. But the Dia was, which got me what I needed, if not what I was craving.

I don't mind the lack of bars. It's easy to carry food, and very pleasant to eat it al fresco under a big chestnut tree.
But I suspect that the lack of albergues is scaring more people off than the lack of bars. Never mind the fact that if you share a room, it's possible to spend less in a hostal. People don't tend to think of that.
 

Bad Pilgrim

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Far too many...
Out of luck? I fail to understand how you could possibly miss so many places!
😄 I must admit that I have never found an open bar between Ponferrada and Las Médulas. Apart from the ones in Toral, I haven't even seen any of them. So my first stop after Ponferrada has always been Las Médulas. (Last year I entered Toral at the same time that the owner came to open, but I decided to push on since it was early).

/BP
 

KinkyOne

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I didn't. Alas, it was not open. But the Dia was, which got me what I needed, if not what I was craving.

I don't mind the lack of bars. It's easy to carry food, and very pleasant to eat it al fresco under a big chestnut tree.
But I suspect that the lack of albergues is scaring more people off than the lack of bars. Never mind the fact that if you share a room, it's possible to spend less in a hostal. People don't tend to think of that.
True but OTOH people are scared to walk solitary 17km after Carrion de los Condes and are busing that stretch. When you say there were no (opened) bars from A to B on a less walked Camino with very few albergues that could really be a very bad advertising. Repeat offenders we know the tricks but newbies don't. Why put them off such beautiful Camino with false info. And Spanish or Galician people are so welcoming and nice you can get cold beer or water or even tinto from nextdoor to closed bar if you ask politely :)
 

Bad Pilgrim

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Far too many...
Misleading or inaccurate information is not what we have in the Invierno Guide that we have taken great pains to keep as up to date as possible on this forum. With Laurie (peregrina2000) in charge, we regularly bombard her with new information, particularly around December time, when it's time for the new version to be edited.

Other sites, such as Gronze, are light years behind us in that respect.

Take Puente de Domnigo Flórez as a good example: It's crazy to follow the road all the way down and then go around the other side of the river. My suggestion is very clear:

As you are descending on the Calle Real, look for the Calle el Toral (on your right before you get all the way down to the river). Turning right here will take you to Café Bar Los Arcos before the square. There is a churrería in the main square. Keep walking straight, and you’ll come to Bar el Cruce (very pilgrim friendly) and will be back on the Camino and on Avenida de Orense. The Camino continues on Calle Chao de Marco, a left turn off Avenida de Orense.

You may well miss the churrería in the Plaza de Toral, but there is no way you can miss Bar el Cruce.

Here are some interesting stats:

Estadísticas mes de mayo del 2019: Los caminos que han seguido la mayoría de los peregrinos son Frances-Camino de con 25.705 (55,07%); Portugués-Camino con 10.455 (22,40%); Costa Camino Portugues con 2.952 (6,32%); Norte-Camino de con 1.992 (4,27%); Primitivo-Camino con 1.911 (4,09%); Ingles-Camino con 1.742 (3,73%); Via de la Plata con 1.430 (3,06%); Invierno de Camino con 208 (0,45%); Otros caminos con 163 (0,35%); Muxia-Finisterre con 114 (0,24%); con 1 (0,00%); etc.

The lack of infrastructure on the Camino de Invierno puts some people off this marvellous route. If they then read posts here or on other sites claiming that there is absolutely nowhere to stop then this camino will never prosper. That's fine by me, by the way.:p:p:p

Incidentally, yesterday (Friday) 1,975 pilgrims arrived in Santiago de Compostela. How many of those do you reckon walked the Invierno? Fingers on one hand?

I rest my case!
Oh, that reminds me of a group of pilgrims who I walked with on some days on the Invierno last year… They were complaining about nearly everything on this Camino! And above all, about the lack of infrastructure!

One guy went on and on about how he and his friends had been "lured" into this Camino by "false publicity" and that they felt it was a fraud. "This Camino is not at all as they sell it to you". (But they were also complaining in the same way about the Mozárabe and virtually any camino that wasn't the Francés). I wanted to ask him "Why are you here then??" But I bit my tongue and let them rant.

I don't know where they found their "false publicity" about the Camino de Invierno. I think the info about accomodation, distances, terrain & weather is fairly accurate. So yeah it is not a Camino for everyone…

/BP
 

Charrito

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Oh, that reminds me of a group of pilgrims who I walked with on some days on the Invierno last year… They were complaining about nearly everything on this Camino! And above all, about the lack of infrastructure!

One guy went on and on about how he and his friends had been "lured" into this Camino by "false publicity" and that they felt it was a fraud. "This Camino is not at all as they sell it to you". (But they were also complaining in the same way about the Mozárabe and virtually any camino that wasn't the Francés). I wanted to ask him "Why are you here then??" But I bit my tongue and let them rant.

I don't know where they found their "false publicity" about the Camino de Invierno. I think the info about accomodation, distances, terrain & weather is fairly accurate. So yeah it is not a Camino for everyone…

/BP
People like that can stick to the Francés. PLEASE KEEP OFF THE INVIERNO!
 

VNwalking

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people are scared to walk solitary 17km after Carrion de los Condes and are busing that stretch.
I've been thinking about that stretch, and people's slightly irrational fear of it.
Different caminos for different types, I guess.

And it's not just the lack of bars or albergues.
One person I spoke to in Ponferrada said she would never walk a camino like the Invierno because she wouldn't have any company, and that's what she likes on the Frances - meeting so many people.

Perhaps they should take @Bad Pilgrim's idea and market this as "Not the camino for everyone" I can see the ad now: "Do you have what it takes?" ;) 🤣
 

Charrito

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I really HATE what the Camino Francés has become. The Portugués is going the same way.
 

VNwalking

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I really HATE what the Camino Francés has become. The Portugués is going the same way.
I was just there and found the spirit is definitely still alive. You just had to scatch the surface. It was a lovely surprise.
 

Charrito

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I was just there and found the spirit is definitely still alive. You just had to scatch the surface. It was a lovely surprise.
It's after Sarria when it gets very silly.
 

VNwalking

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A good reason to come this way instead.
(BTW, @Charrito , where in Monforte can I get a credencial? Mine is running out of space...)
 

Charrito

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Brilliant! Muchas gracias.
That means the food's on me tomorrow night, though....
Sorry, but that's not going to happen! Juanjo and I eat a lot, María not quite so much!
 

VNwalking

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Ah, well when you put it that way...
I will have to get creative about how to reciprocate out of gratitude for the inspiration...
 

ranthr

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Well, sometimes I just can't hold my horses. I guess it's Slavic/Mediterranean blood :D
With cold Norwegian blood I could say I missed some of the bars!
 

KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
With cold Norwegian blood I could say I missed some of the bars!
Ah, the Norwegians I met in Greece in 1980's didn't miss single one of them :D
In a camping ground they were playing snooker (they brought that portable snooker all the way from Norway to the island of Ios, on a train) all days long wearing leather belts around their waiste and they smashed the beer cans in the middle and stucked them behind the belt. Of course they drank all that beer. In the evening when all the parties started they were like Santa Clauses :D :D :D

Completely off-topic, sorry ;)
 

Charrito

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The moral of this thread seems to be:

Before you walk the Invierno, consult/study the guide edited by @peregrina2000, who, aside from her own observations, receives oodles of info from those most familiar with it. (@Charrito and @KinkyOne + ?)
Always willing to help. Just back home in Salamanca after another marvellous Invierno.
 

jerbear

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Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
Lol I have walked it 6 times. First 2 without guide. Next 4 after the church offical. Beautitfu
 

KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I walked it in person just once but in my memory many more times because I remember everything so vividly even after 5 years.
And some day soon I hope in another combination of Caminos (from Catalunya - Sant Pere de Rodes) I'll get back for real once more.
 

Charrito

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I walked it in person just once but in my memory many more times because I remember everything so vividly even after 5 years.
And some day soon I hope in another combination of Caminos (from Catalunya - Sant Pere de Rodes) I'll get back for real once more.
I think I could walk it blindfold now!!!!!!!!
 

Albertagirl

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If any of you bright souls who know the recent state of the Invierno could suggest to me what my chances are for staying in the polideportivo in Pobra de Brollon on the night of November 1, I would very much appreciate it. There currently seems to be nowhere else in town, or in the immediate vicinity. I might plan to get there a day earlier or later, if that would give me a better chance to get a bed, as Nov. 1 is a national holiday in Spain. I have not been able to get any information from recent walkers as to whether the polideportivo is currently open to pilgrims. I prefer to walk around 20-25 km per day, which places me at Pobra de Brollon a day after Quiroga. Any ideas, anyone?
 

Charrito

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If any of you bright souls who know the recent state of the Invierno could suggest to me what my chances are for staying in the polideportivo in Pobra de Brollon on the night of November 1, I would very much appreciate it. There currently seems to be nowhere else in town, or in the immediate vicinity. I might plan to get there a day earlier or later, if that would give me a better chance to get a bed, as Nov. 1 is a national holiday in Spain. I have not been able to get any information from recent walkers as to whether the polideportivo is currently open to pilgrims. I prefer to walk around 20-25 km per day, which places me at Pobra de Brollon a day after Quiroga. Any ideas, anyone?
Pensión Pacita in Barxo do Lor? A Salanova in Salcedo. Both in the guide.


We drove up from Pensión Pacita to A Pobra after lunch last Sunday. As Viñas is still there, but closed. Nothing in the town; mind you, it was Sunday afternoon.
 

KinkyOne

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If any of you bright souls who know the recent state of the Invierno could suggest to me what my chances are for staying in the polideportivo in Pobra de Brollon on the night of November 1, I would very much appreciate it. There currently seems to be nowhere else in town, or in the immediate vicinity. I might plan to get there a day earlier or later, if that would give me a better chance to get a bed, as Nov. 1 is a national holiday in Spain. I have not been able to get any information from recent walkers as to whether the polideportivo is currently open to pilgrims. I prefer to walk around 20-25 km per day, which places me at Pobra de Brollon a day after Quiroga. Any ideas, anyone?
That might be tough. November 1st as you already mentioned is All Saints Day (Dia de los Muertos) and most definitely Ayuntamiento will be closed.
I would ask @Charrito to make a phone call to Ayuntamiento directly and get first hand info. Maybe the key to Polideportivo could be left in opened bar or tienda. Or somebody would volunteer to keep it until your arrival.
 

Charrito

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That might be tough. November 1st as you already mentioned is All Saints Day (Dia de los Muertos) and most definitely Ayuntamiento will be closed.
I would ask @Charrito to make a phone call to Ayuntamiento directly and get first hand info. Maybe the key to Polideportivo could be left in opened bar or tienda. Or somebody would volunteer to keep it until your arrival.
No problem at all for me to do that for anyone.

November 1 is a long way off, anyway. To be honest, the stage from Quiroga is a lovely one: some road walking at first (a few kilometres uphill) and then into the woods (read VNwalking's lovely description of this section) and down to Carballo do Lor. A short steepish walk down to the Roman Bridge at Barxa do Lor, 300 metres along the river bank and there's the Pensión Pacita. If you prefer, you can carry on walking up to Castroncelos, and José Luis from A Salanova will pick you up there and take you to Salcedo for the night (nice place, and pretty reasonable). The following morning he'll drive you to Castroncelos or A Pobra and you can walk the short stage to Monforte de Lemos.
 

Charrito

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VNwalking

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whether the polideportivo is currently open to pilgrims.
Yes, but it may not be in November.
Ah, I see @Charrito has posted the relevant info.

Barxa was very nice,and stating there has the added advantage of walking up the hill in the morning. I chose to stay at the pension because my feet znd ankles were shot after the steep paved downhill, and am happy I did.
 

Albertagirl

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Yes, but it may not be in November.
Ah, I see @Charrito has posted the relevant info.

Barxa was very nice,and stating there has the added advantage of walking up the hill in the morning. I chose to stay at the pension because my feet znd ankles were shot after the steep paved downhill, and am happy I did.
@VNwalking
I am reconsidering staying at the polideportivo in A Pobre de Brollon, as I think that the combination of Nov. 1 being a national holiday and the fact that it is November might mean that the polideportivo is not open, whatever Gronze says. I have one extra day at the end, so could insert it here and stop at Pension Pacita, going on to Montforte de Lemos the next day. Did you book ahead for Pension Pacita? I would still have three nights in Santiago, to allow for delays. The only other time off that I have scheduled is for two nights in Leon. I like Leon and it is around halfway on my walk, with the Madrid at the start and the Invierno at the finish. Perhaps I should stop trying to plan ahead and just keep in mind when I have to fly home from Madrid. Walking as the Spirit moves me is beginning to look like the simplest Way. A quotation from the Bible comes to my mind: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). Maybe this will be my learning from this camino, if I am willing to listen to it. Thanks for your help.
 

KinkyOne

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That's in Polideportivo, Peter???

Wow, definitely not my experience of sleeping in Polideportivos :D
 

Charrito

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@VNwalking
I am reconsidering staying at the polideportivo in A Pobre de Brollon, as I think that the combination of Nov. 1 being a national holiday and the fact that it is November might mean that the polideportivo is not open, whatever Gronze says. I have one extra day at the end, so could insert it here and stop at Pension Pacita, going on to Montforte de Lemos the next day. Did you book ahead for Pension Pacita? I would still have three nights in Santiago, to allow for delays. The only other time off that I have scheduled is for two nights in Leon. I like Leon and it is around halfway on my walk, with the Madrid at the start and the Invierno at the finish. Perhaps I should stop trying to plan ahead and just keep in mind when I have to fly home from Madrid. Walking as the Spirit moves me is beginning to look like the simplest Way. A quotation from the Bible comes to my mind: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). Maybe this will be my learning from this camino, if I am willing to listen to it. Thanks for your help.
Contact me and I'll book for you before you get there.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Did you book ahead for Pension Pacita?
No, nowhere, except Torre Vilariño. And all went juuuust fine, which is not what Chicken Little was expecting. :)

A quotation from the Bible comes to my mind: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). Maybe this will be my learning from this camino, if I am willing to listen to it.
Beautiful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
No problem at all for me to do that for anyone.

November 1 is a long way off, anyway. To be honest, the stage from Quiroga is a lovely one: some road walking at first (a few kilometres uphill) and then into the woods (read VNwalking's lovely description of this section) and down to Carballo do Lor. A short steepish walk down to the Roman Bridge at Barxa do Lor, 300 metres along the river bank and there's the Pensión Pacita. If you prefer, you can carry on walking up to Castroncelos, and José Luis from A Salanova will pick you up there and take you to Salcedo for the night (nice place, and pretty reasonable). The following morning he'll drive you to Castroncelos or A Pobra and you can walk the short stage to Monforte de Lemos.
Hi Charrito,
We will be staying in Salcedo on Sat 29th June walking from Quiroga.....
Rather than going to Pobra de Brollon and then walking to Salcedo....is it possible to walk to Salcedo directly from Castroncelos ...we would feel,awkward asking Jose Luis just to pick us up and don't mind walking it
Thank you
Annette
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Hi Charrito,
We will be staying in Salcedo on Sat 29th June walking from Quiroga.....
Rather than going to Pobra de Brollon and then walking to Salcedo....is it possible to walk to Salcedo directly from Castroncelos ...we would feel,awkward asking Jose Luis just to pick us up and don't mind walking it
Thank you
Annette
NO need to feel awkward at all. It's part of the service he offers, and he does it for free. Check out the web-page.

It is possible to deviate a bit from the Camino and walk there, however:

 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
That's easy to find. And almost the same distance as to Castroncelos and further on to A Pobra.

But @Annette london I wouldn't skip the walk from Barxa do Lor (Pencion Pacita) to A Pobra. It's one of the most beautiful stretches of Invierno.
José Luis will pick you up in either Castroncelos or A Pobra (free). As KinkyOne says, it's a lovely walk: a bit steep at first, but not too hard (you'll have much harder and steeper climbs in later stages from Belesar to Chantada, and from Penasillás to Monte do Faro).
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Contact me and I'll book for you before you get there.
@Charrito
I feel confident enough to make a booking for myself and have done so on my three previous caminos, but I am a little unsure about the contact information for the polideportivo. At present, I have somehow acquired three telephone numbers, but no email address, which I how I feel most confident making bookings in Spain. If you would have an email address, or a telephone number which you have actually called, that would be very helpful. That would allow for me to book shortly before I get there and to choose the date according to the progress of my walk. Thanks very much for being willing to help.
P.S.: If you contact them, you could ask if they will be open on Nov. 1, or later in November, as I don't totally trust Gronze for this.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
982 430001 will get you through, definitely.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
982 430001 will get you through, definitely.
Thanks. That's the number that I have on my phone contacts list. That should do me for calling them a day or two ahead, and I shall just keep looking if they are closed at that time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
That's easy to find. And almost the same distance as to Castroncelos and further on to A Pobra.

But @Annette london I wouldn't skip the walk from Barxa do Lor (Pencion Pacita) to A Pobra. It's one of the most beautiful stretches of Invierno.
Hi Kinky1
Thanks
We will definitely be walking from Baraxa do Lor

It was after that, at the village of Castroncelos that I wondered about walking to Salcedo
Sunday morning we are happy to walk back as its a short day to Monteforte
Maybe best to see how we are after the walk from Quiroga!!!!!!
We have the telephone number of O Forno
Best wishes
Annette
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Fisterre (2018,08) ,Camino Primitivo, and Fisterre,(2019,04)
We walked last month and took 16 days. Plenty of private rooms, in fact we stayed in the albergues that were available and that’s only like 5? Even they had the option of private room for my hubby and I.
I don’t think this Camino is particularly tough. The hardest slog was the last mile up to the albergue in Villavieja. I didn’t do any walking leading up to the trip due to work obligations and just laziness. I’m 53 and hubby is 56.
The worst thing about this Camino is the seemingly non stop road walking ( hard on the feet). It’s very safe. No reason for women to be afraid.
I’ll be updating my blog this weekend with my notes and pictures.
Thanks Alaskadiver, your post re the road walking has put me of this camino, I enjoyed the primitive , the Sansalvador is looking like the next best bet for less tarmac.
Bill
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Obviously (from posted photo) this is actually official municipal albergue just that it is located in the Polideportivo building. Usually expression Polideportivo on less walked Caminos means sleeping on gym/yoga mats in either sport halls or locker rooms. Which is quite OK because every Polideportivo must also have showers, toilets etc. But this seem much more upscale so I would be pretty confident to find it open even all through the year if it wouldn't be for the November 1st (or weekend or National/local holidays). Calling Ayuntamiento on Friday afternoon or even Saturday to get some info for Sunday is more or less useless in Spain so get it done soon enough ;)
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Fisterre (2018,08) ,Camino Primitivo, and Fisterre,(2019,04)
Just FYI second half of Salvador is almost entirely on tarmac ;)
Or at least last third.
Thanks Kinkyone, one for two wheels then .( though , that seems to be a bit like road rage, amongst walkers!)
Bill
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Fisterre (2018,08) ,Camino Primitivo, and Fisterre,(2019,04)
In my experience Camino de Madrid has the lowest percentage of tarmac walking. Also Levante apart from first 3-4 days which are entirely on tarmac.
Thanks, someone else mentioned the Camino de Madrid, and also one near Barcelona, for less tarmac, didn't know about the Levante being tarmac free, will look into it, .
Thanks again Bill
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Thanks, someone else mentioned the Camino de Madrid, and also one near Barcelona, for less tarmac, didn't know about the Levante being tarmac free, will look into it, .
Thanks again Bill
There are many of them in Spain, Portugal and Europe. Try to follow some of the forum members vlogs/blogs and you'll get the picture. Map here: https://www.rayyrosa.com/caminos (not all are included though)
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
Thanks Alaskadiver, your post re the road walking has put me of this camino, I enjoyed the primitive , the Sansalvador is looking like the next best bet for less tarmac.
Bill
I will definitely do the Primitivo again and the El Salvador is on my list. We’re walking the Picos de Europa as a thru hike next year. Definitely no tarmac there :)
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Fisterre (2018,08) ,Camino Primitivo, and Fisterre,(2019,04)
I will definitely do the Primitivo again and the El Salvador is on my list. We’re walking the Picos de Europa as a thru hike next year. Definitely no tarmac there :)
Enjoy the Picos, what time of year are you going ? The Cantabrian mountains had snow in April, so I guess you would have to wait until June to hike in the Picos,
The Camino Vadiense y Lebango from San Vicente de la Barquera to Mansillas las Mulas looks good, crossing some valleys in the Picos.
Bill
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
Enjoy the Picos, what time of year are you going ? The Cantabrian mountains had snow in April, so I guess you would have to wait until June to hike in the Picos,
The Camino Vadiense y Lebango from San Vicente de la Barquera to Mansillas las Mulas looks good, crossing some valleys in the Picos.
Bill
I live in Alaska. Hiking in snow is not an obstacle, just requires careful route planning to avoid avalanche zones. We have snowshoes and crampons, as well as ice axes. June is likely too hot for us. We will go in either mid May or late Sep-October. The plan is to traverse the ranges from East to West through the Central massif. I'd rather go when there is less snow just because I get enough of it here :)
Still in the research phase and trying to see when the refuges close and getting temperature averages.
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Fisterre (2018,08) ,Camino Primitivo, and Fisterre,(2019,04)
I live in Alaska. Hiking in snow is not an obstacle, just requires careful route planning to avoid avalanche zones. We have snowshoes and crampons, as well as ice axes. June is likely too hot for us. We will go in either mid May or late Sep-October. The plan is to traverse the ranges from East to West through the Central massif. I'd rather go when there is less snow just because I get enough of it here :)
Still in the research phase and trying to see when the refuges close and getting temperature averages.
Sounds good, we need ice axe and crampons for hiking in Scotland , any time from November to April,
Not so much snow shoes, but I prefer foreign trips when the weather is warm enough to walk in shorts, the Picos seem quite rocky, but I'm sure there will be some good paths through them.
Bill
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I live in Alaska. Hiking in snow is not an obstacle, just requires careful route planning to avoid avalanche zones. We have snowshoes and crampons, as well as ice axes. June is likely too hot for us. We will go in either mid May or late Sep-October. The plan is to traverse the ranges from East to West through the Central massif. I'd rather go when there is less snow just because I get enough of it here :)
Still in the research phase and trying to see when the refuges close and getting temperature averages.
Storms aside you should not need snow gear in the Picos May - September. I've hiked in April when the hazard was the last, decaying, winter snow with an overnight frost cap that has a tendency to slide. You can generally hear it creaking and make decisions as to whether to proceed or wait. If you're planning to ascend Bulnes or Torre de Cerredo you'll need full rig otherwise it'll just be a hike. That said you'll need plenty of water, there are few sources.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Just a quick note as wi fi a bit limited
Walked from Ponferrada and now in las Medulas
A lovely walk
Stayed in hotel Castello...5 minutes from the start of the Invierno...luxury at 49euros
We met with Laurie...peregrina 2000 for lovely chat...she will be 1 day behind us but will catch up later on ....indeed anyone can catch us up!!

We did miss out on the high castle..we took one look and said maybe next time !
Still we walked 23 km in total
Not too bad for 2 old codgers!!

A little bit of road walking Very little really but we just hoped on any green verge that was present....and spent time picking wild cherries .

A new albergue with 8 places opening on the 1st July... Forgot to get the telephone no but it's in the PDF of the Invierno....in Las Medulas

Re the bars........we found none open until we got to Borrens at 12 30 mid day
We do know that they opened later so obviously we passed too early.

All restaurants closed on Tuesday's in las Medulas ...but we got some cold Tapas which is fine
Today we saw 6 pilgrims
All the best
Annette
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Just a quick note as wi fi a bit limited
Walked from Ponferrada and now in las Medulas
A lovely walk
Stayed in hotel Castello...5 minutes from the start of the Invierno...luxury at 49euros
We met with Laurie...peregrina 2000 for lovely chat...she will be 1 day behind us but will catch up later on ....indeed anyone can catch us up!!

We did miss out on the high castle..we took one look and said maybe next time !
Still we walked 23 km in total
Not too bad for 2 old codgers!!

A little bit of road walking Very little really but we just hoped on any green verge that was present....and spent time picking wild cherries .

A new albergue with 8 places opening on the 1st July... Forgot to get the telephone no but it's in the PDF of the Invierno....in Las Medulas

Re the bars........we found none open until we got to Borrens at 12 30 mid day
We do know that they opened later so obviously we passed too early.

All restaurants closed on Tuesday's in las Medulas ...but we got some cold Tapas which is fine
Today we saw 6 pilgrims
All the best
Annette
Hotel El Castillo is a fine place to stay, and really close to the start of the Invierno, the albergue and the castle.

Bars you missed:

Too early in Toral de Merayo?

2.6km Villalibre de la Jurisdicción
Fountain. Bar la Estrella is along the highway, but the Camino passes through the middle of town and does not pass that bar. Bar Ruta 98 is a short walk from the center of town on the way to the main road.

2.0km Santalla del Bierzo
Bar on the highway is closed with a “for rent” sign in the window. Another (Café Bar Ronda) is on the right end of the village. If it appears closed, the owner – who lives upstairs – will (and is happy to) open for you. Tables on the terrace have lovely views. To return to the camino, go down the steps at the side of the bar. You will pass the Ermita de la Virgen de Carmen de Rio Ferreiros and then climb up to the N-536.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
A new albergue with 8 places opening on the 1st July... Forgot to get the telephone no but it's in the PDF of the Invierno....in Las Medulas
@Annette london :
I looked in the PDF of the Invierno, in the section with housing options for Las Medulas, and could find no reference to the opening of an albergue. Could you please specify the location? either in the town or in the PDF would be helpful.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
@Annette london :
I looked in the PDF of the Invierno, in the section with housing options for Las Medulas, and could find no reference to the opening of an albergue. Could you please specify the location? either in the town or in the PDF would be helpful.
O Camiño Real were attempting to set up an albergue but they got tired of the paperwork. The last time I was there (around six weeks ago) there was a sign saying 'Albergue' halfway down on the right, but it certainly wasn't open.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Hotel El Castillo is a fine place to stay, and really close to the start of the Invierno, the albergue and the castle.

Bars you missed:

Too early in Toral de Merayo?

2.6km Villalibre de la Jurisdicción
Fountain. Bar la Estrella is along the highway, but the Camino passes through the middle of town and does not pass that bar. Bar Ruta 98 is a short walk from the center of town on the way to the main road.

2.0km Santalla del Bierzo
Bar on the highway is closed with a “for rent” sign in the window. Another (Café Bar Ronda) is on the right end of the village. If it appears closed, the owner – who lives upstairs – will (and is happy to) open for you. Tables on the terrace have lovely views. To return to the camino, go down the steps at the side of the bar. You will pass the Ermita de la Virgen de Carmen de Rio Ferreiros and then climb up to the N-536.
we
We didn't miss either of them Charrito
Too early for the first 2 ...in Torel de Merayo at 08 30
Bar Eestrella 60 mt from Camino was closed
We did knock at that bar in Santella but no answer
It wasn't a problem
We can live without a cafe!!!
We can adapt as necessary
People just need to be prepared for closed bars even when told that they may be open
This is a different Camino with different infrastructure
We rested on the nice benches in the villages
All the best
Annette
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
O Camiño Real were attempting to set up an albergue but they got tired of the paperwork. The last time I was there (around six weeks ago) there was a sign saying 'Albergue' halfway down on the right, but it certainly wasn't open.
I spoke to the man there
He said it was opening on July 1st
I saw the bunk beds
Very clean

Alberta girl..the info is at top of page 14
I did not get a telephone no though..sorry
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I spoke to the man there
He said it was opening on July 1st
I saw the bunk beds
Very clean

Alberta girl..the info is at top of page 14
I did not get a telephone no though..sorry
Thank you. I read that, but it didn't appear to be referring to an albergue that was likely to be opening anytime soon.
I have noticed your comment that your walk from Ponferrada to Las Medulas was 23 km. The guide says that it is 27.2 km. With all the uphill, that looked like a long day to me, particularly as there is so much to see in Las Medulas. However, by the time that I start the Invierno, I shall have walked from Madrid, and will hopefully be in decent shape. Did you find the distance comfortable and the time in the town adequate? I appreciate any information that I can get about the Invierno
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
All restaurants closed on Tuesday's in las Medulas
Gah...the Tuesday thing...
) there was a sign saying 'Albergue' halfway down on the right, but it certainly wasn't open.
I was given the impression that this may be run by the big B&B company that seems to have bought up a bunch of old places to rent out to tourists at inflated prices, 25€ for a bunk bed. I'd far rather give the nice couple at Soccoro my business. @peregrina2000 , if you can, maybe ask Mariscol about this when you get to Borrenes; she'll no doubt give you the straight scoop.
Today we saw 6 pilgrims
:eek::eek::eek:
The numbers are definitely going up...
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I have noticed your comment that your walk from Ponferrada to Las Medulas was 23 km. The guide says that it is 27.2 km.
If you stay on the road into Borrenes, and don't go up to the castle, you miss the extra 4k...and a monster of a climb. From Borrenes to As Medulas it's up, too, but really not that intensely. Do it wouldn't be too hard of a stage.
That said...I was very glad to have split the stage by staying in Borrenes so there was a whole day in As Medulas. (Just don't go on Tuesday. 😡)
Same with Monforte to Chantada.
Both As Medulas and the Ribeira Sacra are world heritage sites, and worth lingering in.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Thank you. I was wondering why the difference. An extra four kilometres of steep uphill might well be too much for me at the end of a long day, and would certainly make it unlikely that I would have time or energy to sight-see.
 

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