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The Invierno may not be quiet for much longer...

2020 Camino Guides

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Brierley is writing a guidebook...out next year.
(So he says in the podcast interview that Dave has just posted.)
And the Junta is going to "push" it next year. So it will invariably get busier.
I am (very selfishly) glad I walked it before that happens.
The quiet will not last forever - so if you are thinking about it and wavering, maybe the time is now.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Brierley is writing a guidebook...out next year.
(So he says in the podcast interview that Dave has just posted.)
And the Junta is going to "push" it next year. So it will invariably get busier.
I am (very selfishly) glad I walked it before that happens.
The quiet will not last forever - so if you are thinking about it and wavering, maybe the time is now.
It will be interesting to see if a guidebook will jumpstart this route. It seems to me that the type of pilgrim attracted to the Invierno is not the type that would hesitate to walk without a guidebook (and given all the resources on the forum and elsewhere, no guidebook is necessary anyway). IMHO, the lack of albergues is a much bigger drawback than the lack of a printed guidebook, and that just doesn’t seem to be changing much.

I share your selfish gladness, though, and hope to walk at least once more before there are crowds.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
It seems to me that the type of pilgrim attracted to the Invierno is not the type that would hesitate to walk without a guidebook (and given all the resources on the forum and elsewhere, no guidebook is necessary anyway). IMHO, the lack of albergues is a much bigger drawback than the lack of a printed guidebook, and that just doesn’t seem to be changing much.
Yes, I bet you're right, Laurie, about the guidebooks - and certainly about the albergues.
I do wonder if the Xunta's planned advertising push includes actually funding any new albergues...or whether it's all just hot air, and gravel paths. :confused:
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
If the xunta establishes a framework of albergues, the rest will follow in 2-3 years.

Build it...And they will come.
Not necessarily. The Verín, or southern, variant of the Sanabrés, mostly coinciding with the Camino Zamorano Portugués once it crosses back into Spain, has several excellent albergues which are woefully (or, if you have anchorite tendencies like me, delightfully) underused. I was about the 125th person in Villaderei this year only a month ago, and probably much the same the next day in Xinzo de Limia, both outstanding (xunta) albergues.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Not necessarily. The Verín, or southern, variant of the Sanabrés, mostly coinciding with the Camino Zamorano Portugués once it crosses back into Spain, has several excellent albergues which are woefully (or, if you have anchorite tendencies like me, delightfully) underused. I was about the 125th person in Villaderei this year only a month ago, and probably much the same the next day in Xinzo de Limia, both outstanding (xunta) albergues.
I have been thinking about the Verín branch for a long time. Once upon a time I think they were mentioned as equal options of the Sanabrés, but now I have the impression that everyone goes through Laza, and Verín is falling into oblivion? Cause I have walked the Sanabes twice, and every time there was zero buzz about taking the Verín alternative. Are they equally attractive variants of the Sanabrés?
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I bought a guide book for the Invierno when I was in Santiago 2 months ago. Its called the Winter Route to Santiago Camino, and is in English, and full of information. I found a book stall, and was surprised to find volumes in English, so I bought the guide book, and read it on the plane home, it will be my next Camino.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Not necessarily. The Verín, or southern, variant of the Sanabrés, mostly coinciding with the Camino Zamorano Portugués once it crosses back into Spain, has several excellent albergues which are woefully (or, if you have anchorite tendencies like me, delightfully) underused. I was about the 125th person in Villaderei this year only a month ago, and probably much the same the next day in Xinzo de Limia, both outstanding (xunta) albergues.
The Camino de Madrid is another example — excellent albergue infrastructure and still only a handful of peregrinos.

Surely someone can figure this out, but I continue to be confounded by the fact that the Primitivo took off so robustly and is now on the path to overcrowding, while the Invierno has continued to languish. Similar distances, beautiful scenery for both. Maybe the camino gods just want to make sure that there are a few untraveled caminos left for those who relish the solitude.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Not necessarily. The Verín, or southern, variant of the Sanabrés, mostly coinciding with the Camino Zamorano Portugués once it crosses back into Spain, has several excellent albergues which are woefully (or, if you have anchorite tendencies like me, delightfully) underused. I was about the 125th person in Villaderei this year only a month ago, and probably much the same the next day in Xinzo de Limia, both outstanding (xunta) albergues.
And @alansykes, how is it possible that you have not (at least if my tracking is correct) walked the Invierno!!!!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Not necessarily. The Verín, or southern, variant of the Sanabrés, mostly coinciding with the Camino Zamorano Portugués once it crosses back into Spain, has several excellent albergues which are woefully (or, if you have anchorite tendencies like me, delightfully) underused. I was about the 125th person in Villaderei this year only a month ago, and probably much the same the next day in Xinzo de Limia, both outstanding (xunta) albergues.
Yes, but WE are talking up the Invierno, as is the Jacobeo. It will happen.

Once pilgrims see the "clusterflop" that the Camino France becomes during the 2021 Holy Year, people will look for alternatives. In 2017, several of us started doing the Invierno, for one good reason, as a viable way to avoid crowds on the last part of the Camino Frances. It is excellent for that purpose...and far more.

While the overall distance is about 40 km more, the beauty and well marked route is easily done. All that was lacking then, but which improves each year, is the pilgrim infrastructure... it is coming... This is more of a classic chicken and egg discussion. But if we revisit this thread in, say five years, this will be regarded as "the good old days..."

Oh, and once Mr. Brierely does one of his guidebooks, paradise will be on the way to being lost. The pilgrims will come. They will mostly stop each day where Mr/ Brierely prescribes is a fitting place, and that will be that. We will have to find yet another acceptable route that is, as yet, "undiscovered." The cat and mouse game continues...
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Not necessarily. The Verín, or southern, variant of the Sanabrés, mostly coinciding with the Camino Zamorano Portugués once it crosses back into Spain, has several excellent albergues
Yes.
And...
The Invierno ends in Santiago, and Monforte de Lemos (130km away) is absurdly easy to get to.
So this can potentially take the strain off the overcrowded Sarria to Santiago ant trail.

Yes, it's longer and significantly harder than that, but that may be a draw for those who are relatively fit, but have tight time constraints. It's also a whole heck of a lot more interesting.

But wow, Alan, thank you for that. I was vaguely aware of it, but now it goes firmly on my list!
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Could you guys stop these threads until after I’ve walked my hopefully-quiet Levante/Invierno starting in April?
Greatly appreciated;-)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Could you guys stop these threads until after I’ve walked my hopefully-quiet Levante/Invierno starting in April?
Greatly appreciated;-)
🤭 :oops:🤣
Not to worry, @Kiwi-family, you're probably safe.
Like Laurie, I can't imagine that it'll suddenly blow up into crowdedness.
But 2021? Hmmm. Who knows?
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Yes.
And...
The Invierno ends in Santiago, and Monforte de Lemos (130km away) is absurdly easy to get to.
So this can potentially take the strain off the overcrowded Sarria to Santiago ant trail.

Yes, it's longer and significantly harder than that, but that may be a draw for those who are relatively fit, but have tight time constraints. It's also a whole heck of a lot more interesting.

But wow, Alan, thank you for that. I was vaguely aware of it, but now it goes firmly on my list!
Hey, VN, when you say Monforte is easy to get to what do you mean? Easy to get to from--? Madrid? Thanks.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Either Madrid or especially Santiago.
The train to and from Santiago and Ponferrada/Astorga/Leon/Burgos/Irun goes through there - and actually follows part of the Invierno pretty closely, from Puente Domingo Florez to Quiroga, then reconnecting briefly with it in Monforte and on the last stage into Santiago.
And there may be more local trains; certainly there are lots of buses. It's a biggish place, and a very interesting one.
View media item 9674
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
He seems to stealth pilgrim a lot, unless it is my lack of competence. I did not manage to get into Find Penguins, Alan, as you suggested.....

And as far as Laurie’s remark is concerned
but I continue to be confounded by the fact that the Primitivo took off so robustly and is now on the path to overcrowding,
About ten years ago when I did my very long walk I had a French guidebook for the Norte which automatically took you to Oviedo and the Primitivo as apart of the Norte and did not mention at all the continuation to Gijon etc ...
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
This seems like a good moment to introduce the Hype Cycle. It was created (by a research company - Gartner) to describe the path that new technologies take until they are adopted (to a greater or lesser extent). I think there may be a similar curve for up and coming Caminos.

As the reputation of a Camino grows (visibility increases), the path attracts a different kind of pilgrim, whose expectations differ from the original set. "

The establishment of infrastructure and the sense of the Camino in the areas that it passes through does not grow in lockstep with the increase in pilgrim numbers. There ensues some disillusionment and some retrenchment.

This may go through several cycles through the years and eventually the new way finds its equilibrium until some new external event serves as another trigger for a hype cycle.

It may be hard to see this at the moment, since we're in a period where overall pilgrim numbers are growing year on year and the most popular routes show no sign of losing their popularity.


1920px-Gartner_Hype_Cycle.svg.png

Sorry for putting you all through that ... If you don't behave yourselves, I'll rank the Caminos in a Magic Quadrant.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
People travel in vastly different ways, and the same people travel differently, depending on the trip. Some want to "go where no man has gone before." Some won't go unless there is a guarantee that they won't be alone and/or that accommodations are locked in. Some only go on cruises or guided trips with a group of others who have paid an all-inclusive price (and sometimes they even all wear matching tee shirts).

Some, like me, love guidebooks for the maps and history and insight about the land I'm traveling through, but walk my own pace and enjoy finding accommodations on my own as I go and not planning ahead that much. I really like to meet locals wherever I am, as well as other travelers. And I generally wouldn't even think of bringing my spouse or friend on a walking trip; I like the freedom and awareness of my surroundings I can only get walking alone. But I could see taking a parent on a more relaxed, planned, low-risk trip somewhere else. And I am going on a small (10 people) guided trip next summer, riding off-road motorcycles on the Silk Road through the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan, staying in family yurts. I wouldn't relish planning and trying to do that trip on my own!

So I try to be non-judgmental about travel styles on the Camino. If there are people on the trail right behind me, I stop and let them pass and wait till it's quiet again. Even from Sarria to Santiago, it's not hard to get the path to yourself if you're willing to let others go by.

I understand that publicizing the Camino through guidebooks, online forums, etc. brings more people, but it also brings in more options for local food and accommodations and helps the local people, economically.

And there's nothing I can do about it, but I DO hate the large organized groups on the Camino. To me, they ruin the whole vibe. And they take up the cafe so I have to wait in line for coffee or the bathroom. This is true on the Camino and it's also true in places like Barcelona which, to my mind, has been almost completely ruined by large crowds of tour groups.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Alright ... Here's how the Magic Quadrant for Caminos might look:
A Camino with a wealth of facilities and mod cons has a "high ability to execute".
A Camino with an enthusiastic community, culture, fan base, eagerness to develop scores high for "vision".
Leaders are Caminos with both the facilities and the fan base
Challengers are Caminos where facilities exist but community and culture aren't so strong
Visionaries are Caminos with patchy facilities but strong culture
Niche players are lesser known Caminos with patchy facilities
(Of course, there are even less well-known paths that are completely off the grid).

And chaos ensues as we argue over the position of our preferred Camino :

magic-quadrant1explained.gifScreen Shot 2019-12-10 at 01.38.54.png
 

Sara_Dhooma

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Muxia (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Norte (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18)+more
Hahaha! I just saw this thread.

And now I’m video blogging this way. 🤣

I have only met one pilgrim thus far. An older American gentleman (Pacific Crest Trail hiker!) doing his FIRST Camino!!!!
 

El Cascayal

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2019)
It’s not even a month since I returned from the Invierno and the movie in my head keeps playing night and day, I wanna go back. Beautiful green mountains, loads of rivers and streams. Rain, rain every day. Puddles, mud, gorgeous fog, moss, cloudy all day and gorgeous rain. Pobra de Brollón, Invierno wanted you to walk the river over rocks that were not visible from the overflowing clear water, didn’t want to die, found a short piece of the road. Great Gallegos along the road. Loved every day! A lot like the Primitivo and haunting! Who wants to go now?
 

towanda1961

Laura
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Invierno (2015)
Brierley is writing a guidebook...out next year.
(So he says in the podcast interview that Dave has just posted.)
And the Junta is going to "push" it next year. So it will invariably get busier.
I am (very selfishly) glad I walked it before that happens.
The quiet will not last forever - so if you are thinking about it and wavering, maybe the time is now.
I’m so thankful to have walked before it was well known. In 2015 I walked for 11 days without seeing another Pilgrim. The most empowering days of my life.
 

Davecrossland

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP TO SDC.Portuguese Lisbon to SDC Primitivo. Ingles.
Finnisterre and Murcia.
Brierley is writing a guidebook...out next year.
(So he says in the podcast interview that Dave has just posted.)
And the Junta is going to "push" it next year. So it will invariably get busier.
I am (very selfishly) glad I walked it before that happens.
The quiet will not last forever - so if you are thinking about it and wavering, maybe the time is now.
I would think it will be a while before it gets that busy. The infrastructure is not there. I walked it in early September this year, only saw 3 other pilgrims. I was glad I like my own company. Stunning scenery.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
It will be interesting to see if a guidebook will jumpstart this route. It seems to me that the type of pilgrim attracted to the Invierno is not the type that would hesitate to walk without a guidebook (and given all the resources on the forum and elsewhere, no guidebook is necessary anyway). IMHO, the lack of albergues is a much bigger drawback than the lack of a printed guidebook, and that just doesn’t seem to be changing much.

I share your selfish gladness, though, and hope to walk at least once more before there are crowds.
I'll be on the Invierno again in early June; following that I'm definitely considering the Camino Torres. These less-crowded caminos are not for everyone, but - as Laurie rightly points out - let's be selfish and enjoy them in case the hordes arrive!
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
I have been thinking about the Verín branch for a long time. Once upon a time I think they were mentioned as equal options of the Sanabrés, but now I have the impression that everyone goes through Laza, and Verín is falling into oblivion? Cause I have walked the Sanabes twice, and every time there was zero buzz about taking the Verín alternative. Are they equally attractive variants of the Sanabrés?
The Verín alternative is really good, especially when you come across wonderful towns like Allariz.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Either Madrid or especially Santiago.
The train to and from Santiago and Ponferrada/Astorga/Leon/Burgos/Irun goes through there - and actually follows part of the Invierno pretty closely, from Puente Domingo Florez to Quiroga, then reconnecting briefly with it in Monforte and on the last stage into Santiago.
And there may be more local trains; certainly there are lots of buses. It's a biggish place, and a very interesting one.
View media item 9674
Was that photo taken before or after we met you and took you on the guided Wine Centre Tour?
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
This thread reminded me of how backpacking and travel magazines often have cover stories like, "The 10 most beautiful, secret, undiscovered beaches/villages/islands/hikes you need to do."
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Anniefish

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Finistere'18
Coastal portugese '19
Why should you all keep this to yourselves. Caminos are there for all to enjoy in which ever way they choose. I for one would be happy with a guide book. I like to know a bit about where I am and have some recommendations about where to eat and stay. I always book all my accommodation in advance, don't carry my back pack and take a taxi if I'm exhausted.
I'll look forward to Brierly's book and I expect I'll be there to ruin the peace and quiet for you ! 😉
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Why should you all keep this to yourselves. Caminos are there for all to enjoy in which ever way they choose. I for one would be happy with a guide book. I like to know a bit about where I am and have some recommendations about where to eat and stay. I always book all my accommodation in advance, don't carry my back pack and take a taxi if I'm exhausted.
I'll look forward to Brierly's book and I expect I'll be there to ruin the peace and quiet for you ! 😉
It's not a case of 'keeping this to ourselves' at all. There is a wonderful free guide to the Invierno on this forum, painstakingly edited by Laurie (peregrina2000) and with a lot of unselfish contributions from quite a few of us who have walked the route.

Now that there's going to be a 'Brierley' guide coming out next year, I fear that this will be yet another way for people involved in promoting the dufferent caminos to make even more money.

I don't want to say too much more about what I think or the way I see things going, or I would probably receive a ban from the forum.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
@Anniefish, that's banter that's been happening for ages when some are talking about the Invierno.
It reflects a schizoid relationship with this way that people who love it have. We shout about it from the rooftops, but then we realize that a big thing we loved about it was the solitude. So then we swalow our words and start saying "Sshhhh..."
It's a joke. But it's not a joke.

But joke or otherwise, please don't take it personally.

If you want logistic support (taxis, luggage transport), the company of others, and frequent places to stay, this might not (yet) be the walk for you. It will fill in eventually - that's probably inevidable. But as it is now, the Invierno is pretty lonely in many places.
But it's gorgeous.

Have a look at the threads mentioned here and see what you think:
And do check out the free guide here in the resource section.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
@Anniefish

If you want logistic support (taxis, luggage transport), the company of others, and frequent places to stay, this might not (yet) be the walk for you.
But I've seen a looot of luggage transport the past few years on the Invierno! Or the signs of it. I can't say it was the case for every stage though. Those piles of mochilas don't fly by themselves to the next reception desk, that's what I'll say… harr harr...
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Those piles of mochilas
piles of mochillas?
Wow, BP, were you in sych with a tour group - one of the walk a bit, take the bus a bit kind? I saw nothing of the sort. Just three Spanish guys who were flying along and somehow got their stuff transported.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
piles of mochillas?
Wow, BP, were you in sych with a tour group - one of the walk a bit, take the bus a bit kind? I saw nothing of the sort. Just three Spanish guys who were flying along and somehow got their stuff transported.
The same here. I have never seen any sort of luggage transport on the Invierno, until you get around Lalín.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
Primitivo 2018
Finisterre/Muxía 2018
Norte 2019
Brierley is writing a guidebook...out next year.
(So he says in the podcast interview that Dave has just posted.)
And the Junta is going to "push" it next year. So it will invariably get busier.
I am (very selfishly) glad I walked it before that happens.
The quiet will not last forever - so if you are thinking about it and wavering, maybe the time is now.
Thank you for sharing this .. I am now rethinking my 2020 Camino .
The Invierno was on my list along with the VdlP ( if I can organise enough time away from home ) so perhaps this timely discussion will help with my decision.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
I suppose Monforte de Lemos, being quite a large town, would have this available, but I'm surprised that you also mention Rodeiro. Would this have been up in Carpinteiras, because I've never seen anything down in the centre around Mesón O'Guerra?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I suppose Monforte de Lemos, being quite a large town, would have this available, but I'm surprised that you also mention Rodeiro. Would this have been up in Carpinteiras, because I've never seen anything down in the centre around Mesón O'Guerra?

I met a guy in the albergue in Carpinteiras Rodeiro who had used Correos to have his pack transported. I think he had used it all the way from Ponferrada though I am not completely sure about that. And I can’t find any info on Correos’ page about transport on the Invierno so it is kind of confusing. But I am sure he had used Correos.
 

El Cascayal

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2019)
I met a guy in the albergue in Carpinteiras Rodeiro who had used Correos to have his pack transported. I think he had used it all the way from Ponferrada though I am not completely sure about that. And I can’t find any info on Correos’ page about transport on the Invierno so it is kind of confusing. But I am sure he had used Correos.
Correos does transport on the Invierno but not in Invierno. Their transport was not available this November. At 65, I really had to lighten my pack, 2 light shirts and one to travel/hangout in. 1 hiking pant, 1 to travel. Rain gear including waterproof shoes are a must, light raincoat with pit zips and a light Arcteryx heavily discounted wicking jacket underneath worked very well for me. It was colder in November than it is now. It rained every day. Yeayyy!!! Met a total of 4 other Peregrinos until it merged and on the last day met 3 more.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just to bring us back to the original assertion of this thread, I was amused to see what I said in 2011, that’s 9 years ago!

So, I am going to stick my neck out and predict that within a few years this will be a more heavily traveled Camino. With the signage problem solved, it's just such a tempting alternative for people getting tired of the crowds on the Camino Frances, that I have to think it will grow in popularity.

Maybe next year is the game-changer!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Just to bring us back to the original assertion of this thread, I was amused to see what I said in 2011, that’s 9 years ago!

So, I am going to stick my neck out and predict that within a few years this will be a more heavily traveled Camino. With the signage problem solved, it's just such a tempting alternative for people getting tired of the crowds on the Camino Frances, that I have to think it will grow in popularity.

Maybe next year is the game-changer!
Maybe.
Because not this year but next year it will be 9 years after you wrote this prediction :D
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
They have been talking about albergues for years now, yet nothing has happened, pity, because it is the wildest Galicia you can see out of the caminos in my opinion.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
I suppose Monforte de Lemos, being quite a large town, would have this available, but I'm surprised that you also mention Rodeiro. Would this have been up in Carpinteiras, because I've never seen anything down in the centre around Mesón O'Guerra?
Oh yes, Carpinteiro it was. I haven't stayed in O Guerra for ages so I wouldn't know...

And I've always wondered about the Mogay in Chantada, but I've never been able to get a room there. I'm sure their reception looks like an obstacle course in the morning…! :eek:
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Oh yes, Carpinteiro it was. I haven't stayed in O Guerra for ages so I wouldn't know...

And I've always wondered about the Mogay in Chantada, but I've never been able to get a room there. I'm sure their reception looks like an obstacle course in the morning…! :eek:
Never able to get a room at the Mogay? My impression has always been that I was one of very few guests. Though last year I was in a decidedly uncomfortable room— window led only to a covered internal patio, and no AC. I think there must be two different sections, because the roo I was in before had a real window and AC (though the AC was on the blink when I was there). Their prices seem to have gone steadily up, though, and the Gamallo seems to have gotten cleaner, so I might go back to that option next time.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I would like to try polideportivo in Chantada. It can't be much more weird as Pension Yoel :D
But then I must say I really enjoy unusual places... Both to sleep and to eat/drink ;)
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Never able to get a room at the Mogay? My impression has always been that I was one of very few guests. Though last year I was in a decidedly uncomfortable room— window led only to a covered internal patio, and no AC. I think there must be two different sections, because the roo I was in before had a real window and AC (though the AC was on the blink when I was there). Their prices seem to have gone steadily up, though, and the Gamallo seems to have gotten cleaner, so I might go back to that option next time.
Yes I know, last year I wanted to stay at the Mo' for the X time... no. And it is tempting cause everyone I talked to says it is so nice. I also noted that the Gamallo has been getting better reviews lately, for example at Gronze if I'm not mistaken. I would like to go to explore one of them in 2020...
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I would like to try polideportivo in Chantada. It can't be much more weird as Pension Yoel :D
But then I must say I really enjoy unusual places... Both to sleep and to eat/drink ;)
Well, according to my google maps, the polideportivo is right around the corner from the Gamallo, so you could check them both out! Has any forum member stayed in the polideportivo in Chantada? I don’t remember reading anything about it.
 

Attachments

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
As I remember correctly from 2014 the situation was kind of the same as with polideportivo in Cercedilla. After they finish their courses and trainings you can use it. For Chantada it was 10PM I think which was a little bit too late for me to wait that long for a shower :)
 

Sara_Dhooma

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Muxia (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Norte (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18)+more
I wanted to stay in some of the polideportivos on this Camino. I quite like them and I sleep comfy on the inflatable mattress I carry.

I decided against it because I figured the heat would be turned off during the night. With all this cold December rain - I need heat to warm up & dry out at the end of each stage!

Also wanted to add that I only met the one pilgrim (American guy). We walked different stages and I saw him twice. I absolutely love having the albergues ALLLLLLL to myself. 😉
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
I wanted to stay in some of the polideportivos on this Camino. I quite like them and I sleep comfy on the inflatable mattress I carry.

I decided against it because I figured the heat would be turned off during the night. With all this cold December rain - I need heat to warm up & dry out at the end of each stage!

Also wanted to add that I only met the one pilgrim (American guy). We walked different stages and I saw him twice. I absolutely love having the albergues ALLLLLLL to myself. 😉
Albergues all to yourself sounds lovely!

I just watched your rainy stage to Monforte de Lemos! I would love to walk in rain!!!

/BP
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Oh yes, Carpinteiro it was. I haven't stayed in O Guerra for ages so I wouldn't know...

And I've always wondered about the Mogay in Chantada, but I've never been able to get a room there. I'm sure their reception looks like an obstacle course in the morning…! :eek:
The Hotel Mogay? I've never had any problems there, but I've always called in advance and reserved.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Albergues all to yourself sounds lovely!

I just watched your rainy stage to Monforte de Lemos! I would love to walk in rain!!!

/BP
Me too! I have only ever had one stage on my many Caminos de Invierno when I felt a bit cold, walking up once to Monte do Faro, but not a single drop of rain. My poncho is still in virgin condition, although I might need it tonight here in Salamanca when I go to watch the Copa del Rey football match between my beloved Unionistas de Salamanca and Atlético Baleares. Strong winds, rain and snow are forecast, with temperatures well below freezing!
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
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
I met a guy in the albergue in Carpinteiras Rodeiro who had used Correos to have his pack transported. I think he had used it all the way from Ponferrada though I am not completely sure about that. And I can’t find any info on Correos’ page about transport on the Invierno so it is kind of confusing. But I am sure he had used Correos.
I used correos in May 2019. But they only worked on weekdays, not Saturdays, Sundays or fiestas. There is no info but I emailed them.
 
Last edited:

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
I used correos in May 2019. But they only worked on weekdays, not Saturdays, Sundays or fiestas. herebis no info but I emailed them.
Personally, I would hope that I never have to make use of any sort of backpack transport service. Even at my age I can still manage to carry my own backpack, although I can understand that some people may struggle on some of the mountainous stages of different caminos.

I remember being on the Primitivo a couple of years ago, and bumping into a very nice Australian lady, probably in her early thirties. I first met her on the long climb out of Grado and all she had with her was a miniscule backpack with just about enough room for a bottle of water and a small sandwich. She was using Correos. I saw her luggage arrive in Salas and the following day in Tineo: it consisted of two enormous suitcases, with probably enough clothing for a three-week holiday! This to me defeats the purpose of walking the camino.

I'll probably come back to this thread in a couple of years' time, when my back is playing up and my knees have gone, and say what a wonderful service Correos provides. Until then, I'm prepared to suffer! No pain, no gain, as they say!
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
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
Personally, I would hope that I never have to make use of any sort of backpack transport service. Even at my age I can still manage to carry my own backpack, although I can understand that some people may struggle on some of the mountainous stages of different caminos.

I remember being on the Primitivo a couple of years ago, and bumping into a very nice Australian lady, probably in her early thirties. I first met her on the long climb out of Grado and all she had with her was a miniscule backpack with just about enough room for a bottle of water and a small sandwich. She was using Correos. I saw her luggage arrive in Salas and the following day in Tineo: it consisted of two enormous suitcases, with probably enough clothing for a three-week holiday! This to me defeats the purpose of walking the camino.

I'll probably come back to this thread in a couple of years' time, when my back is playing up and my knees have gone, and say what a wonderful service Correos provides. Until then, I'm prepared to suffer! No pain, no gain, as they say!
You are may be even older than me (71). Charrito, and still carrying all your stuff. 🤔😊
I guess that even when using correos, a couple of times after a lot of caminos, my backpack is still heavier than yours. I would never dream of sending my Osprey Exit 48 with either of the backpacktransport companies. I might make it a little less heavy by sending a small bag ahead. Then I can carry more food and water in case I meet a hungry and thirsty peregrina on my way.
 

El Cascayal

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2019)
Sometimes when you are injured, Correos Paq Mochila can save your Camino. For the Primitivo May 2019 I had bilateral Achilles tendinosis especially severe on the right, and sending a small nylon duffel bag while carrying my Osprey 24L with water bladder saved the day. No shame in using this reliable service. Invierno Nov 2019, carried Osprey 34 L. Carrying Mochila or not did not alter the essence of the Camino for me.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
You are may be even older than me (71). Charrito, and still carrying all your stuff. 🤔😊
I guess that even when using correos, a couple of times after a lot of caminos, my backpack is still heavier than yours. I would never dream of sending my Osprey Exit 48 with either of the backpacktransport companies. I might make it a little less heavy by sending a small bag ahead. Then I can carry more food and water in case I meet a hungry and thirsty peregrina on my way.
Three years behind you!
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Sometimes when you are injured, Correos Paq Mochila can save your Camino. For the Primitivo May 2019 I had bilateral Achilles tendinosis especially severe on the right, and sending a small nylon duffel bag while carrying my Osprey 24L with water bladder saved the day. No shame in using this reliable service. Invierno Nov 2019, carried Osprey 34 L. Carrying Mochila or not did not alter the essence of the Camino for me.
Understood. Some people take the p**s, though, by using these services when they don't need to.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Brierley is writing a guidebook...out next year.
(So he says in the podcast interview that Dave has just posted.)
And the Junta is going to "push" it next year. So it will invariably get busier.
I am (very selfishly) glad I walked it before that happens.
The quiet will not last forever - so if you are thinking about it and wavering, maybe the time is now.
As a few of you might remember: my jaw dropped to the ground this summer when I made my routinely call to Hostal Torres in Puente de Domingo Flórez, and got the answer they were fully booked for the two following days…! I had started to take them for granted. I know this is circumstantial evidence, but for me it was the first sign of the Invierno getting crowded, from my perspective… :O(
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
As a few of you might remember: my jaw dropped to the ground this summer when I made my routinely call to Hostal Torres in Puente de Domingo Flórez, and got the answer they were fully booked for the two following days…! I had started to take them for granted. I know this is circumstantial evidence, but for me it was the first sign of the Invierno getting crowded, from my perspective… :O(
I can only think that they had some sort of event on (wedding, first communion or christening), as there's usually plenty of room. They also have a lot more rooms in the annex over the road.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
I can only think that they had some sort of event on (wedding, first communion or christening), as there's usually plenty of room. They also have a lot more rooms in the annex over the road.
I know, I sure hope so. I asked them for the annex just to be sure, but they were unassailable. I so enjoy staying there for the 1st stage, making the following stage somewhat shorter.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
I know, I sure hope so. I asked them for the annex just to be sure, but they were unassailable. I so enjoy staying there for the 1st stage, making the following stage somewhat shorter.
For my first Invierno I must have been crazy, but I did the stage from Ponferrada to Puente de Domingo Flórez on the same day. It was a Sunday, baking hot, and there was absolutely nowhere open (not even Marisol in Borrenes) until I staggered into (L)as Médulas and plonked myself down in O Camiño Real's garden for a nice cold Estrella Galicia (or several). I hadn't reserved anywhere, and thought about the hotel over the road (I've since stayed there and it's not that great) or Casa Socorro (been there too), but after a fantastic huge bowl of Caldo Berciano and the excellent bread, I carried on up the short rise and then down that never-ending descent to Puente.

What a relief to finally get there and find that they had a room (in the annex). I even had time to pop back into town and deal with all the other drinking estabishments that I came across before heading back for a 9.30 Sunday evening cena in the Hostal Torres dining room (just me and some other local).

I've since stayed there several times, and it's fine. A bit further out of town, but ideal for setting off to Galicia the following morning.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Puente de Domingo Flórez is one place that is just crying out for an albergue. There are the crazies like @Charrito who will walk the approximately 1000m total ascent and 35 kms in one day. :) Then there are those who would like to stop in either Villavieja or Borrenes, walk on through Médulas, and sleep in Puente. I personally wouldn’t recommend this unless you have already spent time in Médulas, because the museums and visits are phenomenal. Of course, there are those who don’t like to do any touring when they walk, and then Puente is a great option. Staying in Puente also means that the walk to A Rúa is 32 km.

While I’m babbling on about lodging — if you saw Sara’s most recent installment, you know that she stayed in a new place a few km outside Penasillás. Hotel Vilaseco. https://www.hotelvilaseco.es/. It has a shared room for peregrinos. It is 2 km from Penasillás, and not on the camino, but it’s another option to put in the mix. It might be particularly helpful if you are trying to make short Invierno stages (it’s about 15 from Chantada). Also if you stay in Torre Vilariño (HIGHLY recommended, plus you can take the loop down to the iconic Sil River vistas), it would be about 27 km to Hotel Vilaseco. The more options, the better!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Puente de Domingo Flórez is one place that is just crying out for an albergue. There are the crazies like @Charrito who will walk the approximately 1000m total ascent and 35 kms in one day. :) Then there are those who would like to stop in either Villavieja or Borrenes, walk on through Médulas, and sleep in Puente. I personally wouldn’t recommend this unless you have already spent time in Médulas, because the museums and visits are phenomenal. Of course, there are those who don’t like to do any touring when they walk, and then Puente is a great option. Staying in Puente also means that the walk to A Rúa is 32 km.

While I’m babbling on about lodging — if you saw Sara’s most recent installment, you know that she stayed in a new place a few km outside Penasillás. Hotel Vilaseco. https://www.hotelvilaseco.es/. It has a shared room for peregrinos. It is 2 km from Penasillás, and not on the camino, but it’s another option to put in the mix. It might be particularly helpful if you are trying to make short Invierno stages (it’s about 15 from Chantada). Also if you stay in Torre Vilariño (HIGHLY recommended, plus you can take the loop down to the iconic Sil River vistas), it would be about 27 km to Hotel Vilaseco. The more options, the better!
Yeah I watched Sara's video yesterday. Hotel Vilaseco looks like luxury to me!!! 🤩 Count me in!
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Puente de Domingo Flórez is one place that is just crying out for an albergue. There are the crazies like @Charrito who will walk the approximately 1000m total ascent and 35 kms in one day. :) Then there are those who would like to stop in either Villavieja or Borrenes, walk on through Médulas, and sleep in Puente. I personally wouldn’t recommend this unless you have already spent time in Médulas, because the museums and visits are phenomenal. Of course, there are those who don’t like to do any touring when they walk, and then Puente is a great option. Staying in Puente also means that the walk to A Rúa is 32 km.

While I’m babbling on about lodging — if you saw Sara’s most recent installment, you know that she stayed in a new place a few km outside Penasillás. Hotel Vilaseco. https://www.hotelvilaseco.es/. It has a shared room for peregrinos. It is 2 km from Penasillás, and not on the camino, but it’s another option to put in the mix. It might be particularly helpful if you are trying to make short Invierno stages (it’s about 15 from Chantada). Also if you stay in Torre Vilariño (HIGHLY recommended, plus you can take the loop down to the iconic Sil River vistas), it would be about 27 km to Hotel Vilaseco. The more options, the better!
Thanks for the 'crazy' tag, Laurie!

I reckon that Pensión Pacita/Salcedo/A Pobra do Brollón to Torre Vilariño, then on to Chantada or the Hotel Vilaseco is a good way to break up these long stages, especially if someone like Sara is arriving in places far too late to have a look around.
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
Hahaha! I just saw this thread.

And now I’m video blogging this way. 🤣

I have only met one pilgrim thus far. An older American gentleman (Pacific Crest Trail hiker!) doing his FIRST Camino!!!!
When do you arrive in Santiago?
 

Sara_Dhooma

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Muxia (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Norte (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18)+more
A little bird whispered to me she already arrived there, and is on her way back to Canada. Apparently the vlogs lag a few days behind!

/BP
Yes indeed this stretch of Camino Invierno videos were a couple days behind posting. I’m now in the Caribbean. 😎
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Numbers doubled this year from last, according to Voz de Galicia, reaching 1,000.

And the Xunta is going to spend 3 million euros for trail maintenance and signage on the Invierno. Hey, what about some albergues instead of crushed rock and more signs, guys? I can’t imagine any more mojones will fit on the Invierno.

 

Dilbin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Irun to Santander del Norte
The Camino de Madrid is another example — excellent albergue infrastructure and still only a handful of peregrinos.

Surely someone can figure this out, but I continue to be confounded by the fact that the Primitivo took off so robustly and is now on the path to overcrowding, while the Invierno has continued to languish. Similar distances, beautiful scenery for both. Maybe the camino gods just want to make sure that there are a few untraveled caminos left for those who relish the solitude.
On Del Norte in September it was quite easy to get lost in solitude. In fact it was only by choice that I walked with other pilgrims. So many coatal variants and then 3 days of complete solitude through Vegadeo and wonderful alberques.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Hey, what about some albergues instead of crushed rock and more signs, guys? I can’t imagine any more mojones will fit on the Invierno.
They're obviously not listening to us pilgrims, but to someone else. Overpaid consultants or something. ;)
 

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