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Virtual (and very detailed) plan to walk the VdlP and Sanabrés (planning while in confinement)

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Would it be prudent to get the latest GPX tracks for the stretch between Requejo and Lubián? And beyond, judging from @Albertagirl 's experience in 2017?
I think this is one of those individual choices that just depend on personal comfort level. Last year, when I walked the Vasco/Olvidado/Invierno, I did not bring tracks for the Invierno. When I walk with a GPS I play a little game of sorts. Only look at it if I’m at an unmarked intersection or if I’ve been going for what seems like a long time without an arrow. I never hold it in my hand as I walk, but keep it in the pocket on the side of my pack. Even with that limited use of GPS, it did build a sense of comfort/assurance that I lost when I started the Invierno. Even though the Invierno is probably the most marked camino in Spain, not having access to the GPS took some mental re-adjustment. I guess I made the “no-GPS” decision for the Invierno just to prove something to myself — and thinking about it, it’s probably because walking caminos alone has been a tremendous source of a sense of self-confidence for me, so maybe I was just wanting to push that a bit.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
When I walk with a GPS I play a little game of sorts. Only look at it if I’m at an unmarked intersection or if I’ve been going for what seems like a long time without an arrow.
I use my phone to display the GPX tracks, and like you, use it to check directions when in doubt.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 56: Lubián to ... Vilavella

The next Gronze stage is from Lubián to A Gudiña, a total of 23.7km. A stage most pilgrims would do easily. This is what @C clearly walked when she left Lubián. The profile shows a steady rise of 310 metres after the Santuario de la Tuiza, an ascending elevation which can drain my darling's energy early. So we think it might be wiser to aim for a shorter day, and walk to Vilavella. It is 11km, and as we have no deadline and plenty of time, it will allow many stops along the rise.

It will be too early in the year to experience the romería de La Tuiza as we walk past the Santuario, but we will have a look at the baroque church.

There's a nice video that describes the region around Lubián, including the Cortello dos Lobos.

We enter Galicia at the peak, if I am not mistaken. We will have to go from "hablar castillano" to "falar galego".
The ascent to the border with Galicia at Porto Canda is one of those beautiful green tunnel walks. I noticed the immediate appearance of cow poop as soon as I started down on the other side, so we are definitely in Galicia.
;)
I don't think many pilgrims stop in Vilavella, so when this camino becomes reality, I'll have to report on the accommodation. The Hostal Porta Galega looks ok, and has good reviews on Gronze.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I don't think many pilgrims stop in Vilavella

There is always the possibility that the fancy four star hotel spa will have special pilgrim prices. I have eaten breakfast there (they were very nice, not snooty, and gave us a very good breakfast at a reasonable price) and they said they had special rates for pilgrims including a spa day. Not sure if that appeals, but it might be worth a look. Any four star hotel that puts a picture of a cow walking in front of its hotel as its main website picture has to have a good sense of humor.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Day 56: Lubián to ... Vilavella
A gawjuss stage. I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the other virtual Camino that the sense of arrival in Galicia at the Portelo da Canda is just wonderful.

As you know, elevation makes a huge difference to the difficulty of a stage, so I think your decision to stop at the spa in Vilavella is a good one. Frankly, the last couple of kilometres into A Gudiña have felt like a schlep to me - partly a function of the lactic acid in my muscles and partly because of the transition from beautiful heathland to boring “ribbon development” roadside. A Gudiña grew up on a railway and a road - and it shows. I can’t think of a more stretched out little town of its size. (OK. I admit that this is purely a gut feeling. I haven’t actually done the work to make a comparison of population to linear scale for small Spanish towns).

So you’ll be stopping in a pretty Galician village with a church, a stylish cafe (Bar ON), and a luxury spa. Nice. Bar ON operates a proper sit down restaurant at weekends when the owner’s husband is back from his job in town. (Which town? I can’t remember). On weekdays you can get a drink and the usual bar food. I’m sure the spa has a fancy restaurant. I’ve never seen any reports about it so I look forward to hearing what it’s like.

You are correct that the Galician language is the standard pretty much as soon as you cross the invisible line at the Puerto de la Canda / Portelo da Canda. Last year I tried greeting people with “Bos dias“ all through Galicia. Again, it wasn’t a scientific experiment but I think I got a Galician response more often than not in the mountainous communities. All through A Gudiña, Campobecerros, and Laza, locals appear to use Galician as the default in daily chit chat between themselves. Needless to say, they’re bilingual and speak Castilian Spanish to outsiders. Keep your ears open for variations in the sound of the Galician as you proceed through the country. I think it sounds closer to Portuguese as you proceed further along the Camino. I’ll remember where I noticed this when we get there on this virtual walk. If this interests you, check out the isogloss maps in the museum of the Galician people in Santiago de Compostela.

EDIT - Photos below are from 2019 for a change. The church in Lubian is pretty - not especially famous, as far as I know, but worth seeing if you can.

As you think about the stages ahead, you might be stuck on where to stop next. A Gudiña would make for a very short stage after Vilavella and Campobocerros might be further than you want. There is an apartamento rural with good ratings online that isn’t listed in Gronze - Check out “Apartamentos Rurales O Bolano” online. It’s in the tiny hamlet of Venta do Bolaño some 7 kilometres before Campobecerros (or 13km after A Gudiña). The house looks lovely from the outside (Especially when it’s raining cats and dogs outside). You’d need to bring some food from A Gudiña or ask the owners to put some food in the kitchen for you to cook your own dinner.

Actually, with this in mind - If you think you might stay at the apartamentos rurales in Venda da Bolaño, then you might consider walking from Lubian to O Pereiro Novo (Hotel Cazador) instead of Vilavella. That would give you more evenly spaced stages.

apartamentosruralesobolano@gmail.com
Tel: 988421005 - 609864193
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
@Raggy , you have a fabulous depth and breadth of knowledge, you're a historian, ethnologist, archaeologist, linguist, geographer all rolled in one!
You never cease to amaze me!

EDIT: and a foodie! I meant: a gastronomer! ☺
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 57: Vilavella to A Gudiña

I quite like the idea of walking a bit further than Vilavella, and staying at Hotel Cazador in O Pereiro Novo, as suggested by @Raggy . The walk from Lubián to Laza would then be in three stages: Lubián to Hotel Cazador (15km), then to Venda da Bolaño (22km), and finally to Laza (22km).

We have no deadlines, as mentioned before, and we might still take 4 days to walk to Laza from Lubián. So this could be a short stage to A Gudiña, just 13km. Unless my darling is full of energy!
We're open to suggestions for accommodation in A Gudiña.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Day 57: Vilavella to A Gudiña

I quite like the idea of walking a bit further than Vilavella, and staying at Hotel Cazador in O Pereiro Novo, as suggested by @Raggy . The walk from Lubián to Laza would then be in three stages: Lubián to Hotel Cazador (15km), then to Venda da Bolaño (22km), and finally to Laza (22km).

We have no deadlines, as mentioned before, and we might still take 4 days to walk to Laza from Lubián. So this could be a short stage to A Gudiña, just 13km. Unless my darling is full of energy!
We're open to suggestions for accommodation in A Gudiña.
On this stretch you also have Hostal Porta Galega up above the village of Vilavella on N-525 (just a little bit past petrol stations on both sides of the road). Slept there two years ago and it was pretty nice vs. price. Restaurant too.

Google Maps still showing me Youth Hostel even higher above the Vilavella (at the train station) but same info was given to me both in 2015 & 2018 - they closed it exactly because of the remote location. Don't know the situation right now.

A bit further on the Camino after Vilavella where you cross OU-311 (O Pereiro do Abaixo) you can turn sharp right and there is roadside (on N-525) motel O Carrizo. I slept there in 2015 for 15€ with shared bathroom. Excellent food for the price. Overall pretty good option if you don't mind a bunch of truck drivers. And they accept credit cards :)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
On this stretch you also have Hostal Porta Galega up above the village of Vilavella on N-525 (just a little bit past petrol stations on both sides of the road). Slept there two years ago and it was pretty nice vs. price. Restaurant too.

Google Maps still showing me Youth Hostel even higher above the Vilavella (at the train station) but same info was given to me both in 2015 & 2018 - they closed it exactly because of the remote location. Don't know the situation right now.

A bit further on the Camino after Vilavella where you cross OU-311 (O Pereiro do Abaixo) you can turn sharp right and there is roadside (on N-525) motel O Carrizo. I slept there in 2015 for 15€ with shared bathroom. Excellent food for the price. Overall pretty good option if you don't mind a bunch of truck drivers. And they accept credit cards :)

I was hoping you would jump in here K1! And just to point out to @AJ, that if K1 is around, a virtual Camino Levante would be a lot of fun.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Day 57: Vilavella to A Gudiña
There's a dramatic change of scenery from Vilavella, from dense forest to wide open heath. The path under foot is comfortable to walk on and generally flatter and wider than the climb and descent into Galicia. Last time I was there, I felt my pace increase as though someone had replaced my boots with skates. It's very pretty until the last couple of kilometers when you cross over the Autovia and then walk along the N525 into A Gudiña.

The first hotel on the way into town is the Hostal A Madrileña. It's a reasonably priced hotel and the bar is a decent spot to stop for a beer and a snack whether you're staying here or not - in fact it's one of the only places in town that seems to be open in the late afternoon. The owner's daughter was (is?) a Lufthansa flight attendant, and speaks German quite well. I shared a twin room at the Hostal with another pilgrim in 2017. It was rather small but comfortable and clean with two beds and an en suite shower room. We had read terrifying reports of bed bugs at the municipal albergue - which turned out to be completely false. (Other pilgrims told us they had no problems).

In 2019, I stayed at the municipal albergue, which is closer to the town center. The building is a bit austere - concrete and steel construction with a caged area outside for boot and cycle storage, and another steel cage in the middle of the dormitory - one of those weird features that the architects intended for something but which probably never saw any use. I assume that the architects were following a brief that emphasized the risk of theft. My guess is that these caged areas have never been locked or supervised. The dormitory is upstairs. It has wooden shutters instead of curtains, steel beds, concrete floors and walls, and plastic covered mattresses with no blankets. I'd be surprised if a family of bed bugs would find it easy to live here. There are male and female showers at one end of the dormitory and a kitchen, dining area, and lounge downstairs. The hospitalero shows up at 6pm to stamp credentials and take payment. By the time you walk though A Gudiña, this may be ancient history, because the Xunta is paying for the conversion of a historic building in the town center into a new albergue:

As far as I can see, the other hotels in A Gudiña are about a kilometer further along the main road. There seem to be four or five hotels and as many restaurants down there. It's such a stretched out settlement. I haven't walked to that end of the town. If you do stay there, I think you'll be able to cut straight up to the Camino the next day without having to backtrack through what I call the "town center". I have a feeling that what I call the town center is probably an older town center, but the commercial center of gravity may have shifted to the end with the hotels and restaurants.

The old town center has banks, pharmacies, a bakery, supermarkets and other shops. This is the last proper town that you'll pass through until Laza, so you'd better get anything you need here. The bakery is in the old town center, and opens early so you can get fresh bread before heading off toward Campobecerros or Venda da Bolaño.

I am pretty sure we had dinner at the Hostal A Madrileña in 2017, and it was fine. In 2019, we went to Bar O Peregrino for hamburgers, sausages, salads, and so on. It's the closest bar to the albergue and it has a map of the camino on the wall. Big portions and low prices. They're happy to wrap up any left overs for you to carry the next day ... I have no complaints but I'd probably go for somewhere with a more interesting menu if I were passing through A Gudiña again.

In the old town center you will see arrows pointing in two directions - right for the route through Laza and left for the route through Verin (which is the longer way to go). I don't think many people opt for the Verin route. As far as I know, that's the route for folks who walked the Camino Zamorano Portugues.

[I think these three photos are from the walk to A Gudiña but my photos are from 2019 are a bit mixed up]
 

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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I remember the longhorn cattle, from your central photo, but I don't remember where I saw them.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Yes. You've left the Tierra del Vino for the Tierra del Pan. And if you leave Zamora nice and early, there's an appropriate treat for you in the first town after Zamora - Roales del Pan:

The relatively recently established bakery "Panificador Alberto," is on a side road to the left of the Main Street. The delicious smell of freshly baked bread will leave you in no doubt about which street. It looks like the kind of business that must have been there forever, but I don't remember seeing it when I walked through in 2017. You can see on Google Streetview that it's a derelict building in the older images.

It doesn't look like a shop that you can walk into and buy bread from - I think they must deliver most of their bread to local businesses and individuals - but they're quite happy for pilgrims to drop by and pay for some purchases at the office. No better mid-morning snack than a still warm loaf on the edge of a field. If you picked up some cheese in Zamora you'll have a feast.

The roads are straight and the landscape undramatic but not unpleasant. I stayed at at the albergue in Montamarta, which was a clean, unattended, building a little out of the town. It had two good showers, a kitchen with basic equipment, a washing machine, a line for drying clothes outside, and a barbecue area. I don't think anyone showed up to check in on us. If I recall correctly, we just left the requested payment in a box and entered our own details in the register. We ate at Rosamary's. I don't remember it as remarkable - perhaps a cut above the average pilgrim menu. There's a supermarket between the albergue and Meson Rosamary, where we bought food for breakfast.

If you push on further than Montamarta, there is a newly opened albergue at Fontanillas de Castro. In 2017, I stayed in the village sports hall. It's a very small community with basically one roadside restaurant. Not much going on there, but it's worth knowing as an option.

BTW.- You'll see a bronze statue of El Zangarron by the church - a colorful part of the local folklore:
Raggy, your description of the bakery started me trembling for freshly baked bread! Torture that people from the US are not allowed over there!!!!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Raggy, your description of the bakery started me trembling for freshly baked bread! Torture that people from the US are not allowed over there!!!!
For the first time since March, I found yeast in my local grocery store yesterday and bought a bottle, If you buy some yeast and are willing to work at it, you can make your own fresh bread. Very tasty!
 

Mycroft

Active Member
For the first time since March, I found yeast in my local grocery store yesterday and bought a bottle, If you buy some yeast and are willing to work at it, you can make your own fresh bread. Very tasty!
Oh you don't know how I have tried for many decades to make raised dough baked goods. One time a friend and I made the same recipe side by side--his came out just right and mine was like a rock!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
I was hoping you would jump in here K1! And just to point out to @AJ, that if K1 is around, a virtual Camino Levante would be a lot of fun.
Given that I am still stuck behind closed borders in Australia, with no opening in sight this year, I'll gladly do a virtual Camino Levante with @KinkyOne .
But I'll need to finish this virtual Camino first ☺
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
I have never walked the alternative route through Verín and Allariz, but I have visited Allariz and its nearby Santa Mariña de Aguas Santas and HIGHLY recommend that visit. Roman ruins, the site of Santa Mariña’s martyrdom, and hill forts also right there to visit. So you will have a choice to make once you are in A Gudiña.
Almost everybody seems to take the Laza route out of A Gudiña, presumably because it's a day or so shorter, but the Verín way is good too. Verín itself is a bustling friendly border town with a great dominating mediaeval hill-top fortress and some decent restaurants. The largely empty albergues on the way are outstanding - last November I was about the 125th person of 2019 to stay in the very well equipped and clean albergues of Villaderei and Xinzo de Limia. And, as Laurie also says, Santa Mariña is well worth a visit, and only 500m off the camino.
In the old town center you will see arrows pointing in two directions - right for the route through Laza and left for the route through Verin (which is the longer way to go). I don't think many people opt for the Verin route.

I had considered taking the route through Verín. It is longer than going via Laza, and I had more or less worked out stages that would suit our walking pace. When the time comes when we can walk in reality rather than virtually, I will seriously consider the option via Verín. For the purpose of this virtual exercise, we will continue towards Laza.

The old town center (A Gudiña) has banks, pharmacies, a bakery, supermarkets and other shops. This is the last proper town that you'll pass through until Laza, so you'd better get anything you need here. The bakery is in the old town center, and opens early so you can get fresh bread before heading off toward Campobecerros or Venda da Bolaño.
Day 58: A Gudiña to Venda da Bolaño or Campobecerros

The Gronze stage A Gudiña to Laza is 34km, somewhat too long for us. On her virtual walk, @C clearly mentioned it was time she did a longer day. She did make it to Laza.
We're tempted to stop at Venda da Bolaño, as suggested by @Raggy earlier. That would give us a 12.7km stage, followed by a 21.3km stage to Laza. As a plan B, we might get a taxi from Laza (or more likely from Verín) to pick us up for the last few kilometres into Laza.
Staying overnight at Campobecerros would make it a 19.6km day followed by 14.4km to Laza.
In Venda da Bolaño we would stay at Apartamentos O Bolaño.
In Campobecerros, we would stay at the Albergue da Rosario.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Day 58: A Gudiña to Venda da Bolaño or Campobecerros

One thing to keep in mind for making the decision would be the weather. If there is rain, the descent into Campobecerros (unless it has changed because of AVE construction) would be a slip-and-slide on loose shale.

I remember sitting out a rain storm in the bar on the edge of town on the way out, it must be Casa Núñez. They also had rooms, but all were full because of AVE construction. I continued walking to Laza, but the others got a cab, and the bar owner gladly made the call for them.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
It would be cheaper if you call the taxi from Laza on the Campobecerros-Laza stage because it's much closer. I'm sure there is one because I saw a flyer or a poster either in Albergue da Rosario or somewhere very close on the street lamp post in 2018.

Apartamentos O Bolaño:
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
I didn't want to walk the whole distance to Laza from A Gudina so twice now I have taken a taxi in the morning to the 3rd Venda and then after second breakfast in Campobecerros I walked to Laza. A long day but enjoyable.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Day 58: A Gudiña to Venda da Bolaño or Campobecerros
Much of the stage is on asphalt, but there is very little traffic and the scenery makes up for the hard surface. I hadn't thought of the weather as a deciding factor but Peregrina2000 is right that the steep descent into Campobecerros on that flaky, shale, surface is a bit hairy, even in dry weather.

If you are thinking of making a stop at Venda da Bolaño, I'd suggest speaking to the owners (or checking whatever booking engines they. may use) to confirm that they're OK with a one-night stay. I would guess that they are. You might also ask what they can do to provision the kitchen for your evening meal. It might transpire that you need to carry food from A Gudiña.... but it's also possible that they'll leave you a dish to warm up. I would be interested to know what kind of welcome they offer. Waking up with a view of the surrounding valleys from that isolated settlement would be a treat, I think.

Campobecerros is also barely a dot on the map, but it's a metropolis in comparison with Venda da Bolaño, with three bars and a church (of Santiago!). I'm not sure if there is any place to buy groceries. It's a place with character - I have fond memories of walking through the medieval-looking covered passages between buildings, past the bleating goats on the ground floor. Last time I was there, I was able to chat with people who had returned to their ancestral home to celebrate a wedding.

I think you've made the right choice with the Albergue da Rosario. It's a basic single dorm with male and female showers. No frills but it's clean and the owner has a washer and dryer in the basement that you can use for a fee. It's also possible to get a room at Casa Nuñez, but I didn't find the restaurant there particularly friendly in 2017, and I see several similarly negative comments about the welcome on Gronze. I think it's fair for me to mention also that the Casa Nuñez had a bed bug issue in 2019. This can happen to any establishment and I feel that all we can expect of any hotel is that the management responds promptly and thoroughly in the event that bed bugs appear. I am not sure what to make of Casa Nuñez, though, because I think two reviews that mentioned bed bugs have been removed - and now there is now one review which mentions bed bugs. British people sometimes use the saying "Once bitten twice shy." and Americans prefer "Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me." I think that a combination of these two phrases may be appropriate in this case - "Bite me twice, shame on you!"

With this in mind ... If I were to stay in Campo again, I might have dinner at the first bar that you pass on the way into town. There's no kitchen in the albergue and I don't think that there is a shop in Campobecerros, but I think that there might be a barbecue in the albergue garden in the warmer months. so perhaps it's possible to bring food for the grill from A Gudiña. You should probably call ahead to confirm the existence of a barbecue before doing that - just to be sure that it can be done.

There is nothing open in Campobecerros in the morning and no commercial activity in the villages before Laza, so you should buy something to enjoy for breakfast before you go to bed. I'm sure that any of the bars will whip up a bocadillo for you.

[.yhw wonk t'nod I .redro esrever ni deyalpsid era sotohp s'yadoT]
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...

With this in mind ... If I were to stay in Campo again, I might have dinner at the first bar that you pass on the way into town. There's no kitchen in the albergue and I don't think that there is a shop in Campobecerros, but I think that there might be a barbecue in the albergue garden in the warmer months. so perhaps it's possible to bring food for the grill from A Gudiña. You should probably call ahead to confirm the existence of a barbecue before doing that - just to be sure that it can be done.

There is nothing open in Campobecerros in the morning and no commercial activity in the villages before Laza, so you should buy something to enjoy for breakfast before you go to bed. I'm sure that any of the bars will whip up a bocadillo for you.

[.yhw wonk t'nod I .redro esrever ni deyalpsid era sotohp s'yadoT]
In Campobecerros you can buy basic groceries in mentioned bar which is connected to Albergue da Rosario (same owner).

There is a donativo stand and a bar (not always opened) in the last village before Laza. Young guy on the right in the photo is the owner. Extremely welcoming.
 

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Raggy

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Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
There is a donativo stand and a bar (not always opened) in the last village before Laza. Young guy on the right in the photo is the owner. Extremely welcoming.
Cool. I didn't know that there was a bar there. I appreciated the donativo punto de apoyo, though.
First time I walked through (Nov 2017), I think there was cold coffee and some snacks, for which I was grateful. Second time, there were richer pickings. :)
 

KinkyOne

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Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Cool. I didn't know that there was a bar there. I appreciated the donativo punto de apoyo, though.
First time I walked through (Nov 2017), I think there was cold coffee and some snacks, for which I was grateful. Second time, there were richer pickings. :)
Even cold beer in 2015 :D
Two cans later the young guy came and ... ahem ... you know ... we walked into Laza quite late ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
If you are thinking of making a stop at Venda da Bolaño, I'd suggest speaking to the owners (or checking whatever booking engines they. may use) to confirm that they're OK with a one-night stay. I would guess that they are. You might also ask what they can do to provision the kitchen for your evening meal. It might transpire that you need to carry food from A Gudiña.... but it's also possible that they'll leave you a dish to warm up. I would be interested to know what kind of welcome they offer. Waking up with a view of the surrounding valleys from that isolated settlement would be a treat, I think.
I had thought that Venda da Bolaño might not be available for one-night stays, and also that I would have to hire a whole apartment. I did a quick check here, and they have a requirement for a minimum of two nights.

So Campobecerros is where we will spend the night, at Albergue da Rosario.

I didn't want to walk the whole distance to Laza from A Gudina so twice now I have taken a taxi in the morning to the 3rd Venda and then after second breakfast in Campobecerros I walked to Laza. A long day but enjoyable.
There's at least two taxi drivers in A Gudiña, according to Google, so if need be, we could shorten the walk to Campobecerros by taking a lift for the first few kilometres.

It would be cheaper if you call the taxi from Laza on the Campobecerros-Laza stage because it's much closer. I'm sure there is one because I saw a flyer or a poster either in Albergue da Rosario or somewhere very close on the street lamp post in 2018.
Had we stayed in Venda da Bolaño, we would indeed have called the taxi from Laza, probably after As Eiras.

Day 59: Campobecerros to Laza

This stage is 14.4km, so we might not need to call a taxi from Laza.
In Laza, Gronze indicates that the Albergue de peregrinos de Laza is "a las afueras", out of town.
You could stay at the hotel, but the albergue is not far from the town center and it's a pretty good one - a big, municipal affair with multiple dorms for eight people each. It has male and female shower rooms with two showers each and basins for washing clothes. There are washing lines in the central yard, a good kitchen, and a large dining / social area.
As @Raggy mentioned, the alternative is the Pensión Blanco Conde.
Laza has a supermarket, so we can stock up on food, but the recommendation is to go to the restaurant A Picota:
The restaurant upstairs opens at 7:30, I think. 10 Euros gets you the pilgrim menu - Three courses with a lot of choices. All good, homemade dishes. Included in the menu is a drink (which if you order wine, means a full bottle). And the service is super-friendly and completely honest. I remember the waitress telling me: "The flan isn't home made flan, but it's a very good one. You won't be disappointed." She was right. I would rate this menu peregrino as the second best on the Sanabres.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...
In Laza, Gronze indicates that the Albergue de peregrinos de Laza is "a las afueras", out of town.
...
Not really true. It's kind of on the edge of the old part of town but certainly not far from anything you might need. If you walk on the Camino the next day towards Vilar de Barrio from albergue you will have to walk past many more houses to the "out of town" ;)
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
I had thought that Venda da Bolaño might not be available for one-night stays, and also that I would have to hire a whole apartment. I did a quick check here, and they have a requirement for a minimum of two nights.
It's possible that the owners would be open to a single night stay if you called ahead, but probably best to assume that it's not an option.
There's at least two taxi drivers in A Gudiña, according to Google, so if need be, we could shorten the walk to Campobecerros by taking a lift for the first few kilometres.
I guess you wouldn't lose too much by taking a taxi up the hill as far as the turnoff to the Vendas. The scenery for that stretch is quite nice but it gets better later on.

Day 59: Campobecerros to Laza
Another stage with quite a lot of asphalt at first - winding through little villages - and some pleasant footpaths with babbling brooks later on ... Definitely get the feeling that you're coming out of the mountains and entering a tamer kind of countryside. Last year I saw a posh house under construction near the punto de ayuda that Kinky mentioned earlier, and now I know that there is occasionally a bar there too, so I guess there's still some life left in these settlements. When I walked through in 2019, I had the feeling that they were all but abandoned.

Laza is an attractive, compact, town. The albergue is indeed "a las afueras" but the distance from restaurant La Picota to the albergue (according to Google maps) is 300m. I guess that the distance from central Ourense to the Grelo Hostel is at least that far. Nobody ever complains about that being a shlep. The difference is that in Ourense you walk along city streets while in Laza, you're on an unlit country road. If you don't plan things you might get a bit tired of going back and forth between the town center and the albergue. Remember to register and pick up the keys at the Guardia civil.

Since we're on the topic of albergues that are outside of town centers, the municipal albergue in Xunqueira de Ambia is a little too far out of town for my liking (700m per Google maps). I think that these municipal albergues are often incorporated into municipal sports grounds - which makes sense, since the town owns the land. So there's definitely a pattern of them being a little out of town.

Definitely recommend the dinner at A Picota. I have a feeling that people would be talking it up as special if it weren't for the exceptional Me Gusta Comer in Rionegro.
 

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peregrina2000

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Definitely recommend the dinner at A Picota. I have a feeling that people would be talking it up as special if it weren't for the exceptional Me Gusta Comer in Rionegro.

I have eaten in both the Picota and the Taberna do Ardillas (which closed and then re-opened several years ago, but seems open now). It is so funny to me to read @Raggy’s review of Picota, where I remember eating a very ordinary meal up on a rooftop. Exactly the reverse of our experiences in Tu Casa in Requejjo, so it just goes to show how our meal experiences depend on so much that changes day to day. But the meal I had in Ardillas several years later was really great! Go figure.

As I was trying to find the name of the Ardillas, I also came across a restaurant that is more highly rated than either Picota or Ardillas, and it is Casa de Elena. About 1.5 km out of town in a nearby village, but it might be a treat. No shortage of eating options in Laza. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 60: Laza to Vilar de Barrio

Leaving Laza, @C clearly was well rested, and walked the 34km to Xunqueira de Ambía.

We will walk this in two days. We thought we could stop in Alberguería, but Gronze does not mention the albergue there, owned by Luis, who runs El Rincón Del Peregrino, with all the shells. There was a question on this Forum about whether the albergue was open or not. @Raggy saw the work being done in September 2019, so it may well be open when we walk in reality.
Today, in our virtual Camino, we're spending the night in Vilar de Barrio. It's a 19.2km walk from Laza, with a nice hill along the way. @Raggy describes this stage eloquently. I particularly loved the reference to Luis playing oldies on his sound system in Alberguería, and would love to chat with him about our common love for Jacques Brel's music (the J in my name is Jacques, BTW).
I reckon a room at the Casa Rural A Casa do Adelino will allow us to have a good night's rest after that hill. Gerald Kelly recommends eating at the Restaurant Casa Carmiña:
experience fine dining as it was fifty years ago.
Not sure that we would manage to plan to be there precisely when they have the pulpo event mentioned by @peregrina2000.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
On this stage (on the descend from Albergueria) is apparently one more option for overnight stay although it was all quiet there in 2018:
 

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peregrina2000

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This is the stage where I got clear confirmation of my hunch that “listening to the locals“ was not always the best idea. We left Laza after a lot of rain, and got stern warnings not to take the camino. Two of us decided to give it a try, and we were very glad we did. The difficult walk was for those who stayed on the curvy narrow road, walking in fog, and with a fair amount of traffic. In my experience, the vast majority of the locals who are quick to give advice have never set foot in any off-road section of a camino. But they mean well!

I last stopped in Alberguería right as Luis was getting ready to open his albergue. The people in Laza had a lot to say about him and his permitting problems, but I think that may be a bit of local rivalry going on, not sure. In any event, I know that it opened, then was shut down by authorities, and that drill repeated itself several times. The bar seems to remain open, though.

Just looking at gronze, I saw an intriguing possibility, 4 km from Alberguería and not on the camino, but maybe the owners would pick you up. According to the website, this Casa Rural is actually an entire renovated hamlet with different accommodation options. Looks like it might be a popular wedding venue, so weekdays would probably be better.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I particularly loved the reference to Luis playing oldies on his sound system in Alberguería
When I stopped there for a snack in mid-November of 2017, I mentioned that I was a Canadian and he immediately put on a recording by Leonard Cohen, who had died the previous November. and who had been a major voice in Canadian folk music for most of my life. It was one of those things that happen on camino.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Day 60: Laza to Vilar de Barrio
I also noticed that the albergue in Albergueria was not listed in Gronze. I expect it to reopen, though. How else will Luis recoup the costs of the improvements? He is very devoted to the Camino and the pilgrims who walk it, and he might play some of your favourite music if he has it, but don’t expect a lively conversation. He’s a man of few words. if you stay in Albergueria, you will make your own dinner in the albergue kitchen. It has a stock of pasta, dehydrated soup, and tinned tomatoes, tinned fish etc. Luis can sell you ham, eggs, cheese, more tinned fish, and bread. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to carry an ingredient or two from Laza - fresh fruit or veg. for instance.
Vilar de Barrio is an attractive town and I’m sorry that I’ve never stayed there. An elderly pair of pilgrims (well, a pilgrim in her 90s who was walking with her daughter) told me that a restaurant owner cooked a meal for them when everything in the town was closed for some reason. I can’t quite fathom the story because I think it has several bar/cafe/restaurants but I guess they were unlucky (and then lucky to find such a kind person).
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Did you stay there, @KinkyOne ?
Nope. It looked inhabited but with nobody around at the time I was passing by. It's just a short and way-marked detour from official Camino. There are still some ruins. It looked like little hamlet or bigger farm secluded in the forest. A little bit along the way from it (30 meters maybe) the oldest/widest (???, don't remember anymore) tree in Galicia was advertised.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 61: Alberguería (or Vilar de Barrio) to Xunqueira de Ambía

Meeting Luis in Alberguería and staying in his albergue, even if he is a man of few words, sounds like a nice experience. So yesterday we have walked 11.9km from Laza to Alberguería, and today we're completing this stage to Xunqueira de Ambía.
By now, @C clearly is already in Xunqueira, @Raggy describes the walk as easy, over 20.8km.
We'll go with is recommendation to stay at Albergue Casa Tomás.
Unless you're trying to save every Euro you can, my recommendation is to continue past the municipal albergue into the town center to stay at the private albergue - Casa Tomas. The location alone is worth the extra seven or eight euros. The owners are lovely people
And we have made a note to stop at
Bar Copas, which is just a couple of hundred meters across the square. There you will find good coffee, toast, freshly baked croissants, pains au chocolat, (probably other things too), and friendly service.
for breakfast. Pains au chocolat! ☺ 👍
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Day 61: Alberguería (or Vilar de Barrio) to Xunqueira de Ambía
After you leave Albergueria, you'll come across a crucifix which, I think, is dedicated to pilgrims who lost their lives on the camino. I might be wrong about that ... hope someone will correct me. Following that, you will come across an intriguing invitation to take a detour to see some abandoned houses and a very old tree. The tree is rather hard to find without measuring distances and checking GPS but very worthwhile. (be careful there is a fork in the road by the sign and you don't want to go down the wrong one. If things get overgrown, turn back to the sign and see if there isn't an easier way to go).
Then Laza .... well we've already talked about it above, so I'm out of things to say. Look out for the ventilation slots in the lower floors of the buildings and the horreos. I think the first one you come across might be in Laza. From here until the coast, you'll see lots of Horreos, and Kol growing in the fields.
Then there are some dead straight roads between fields, and then some sunken lanes, and before you know it you're descending to Xunqueira de Ambia. You have already seen my recommendation for Casa Tomas. Better than the municipal albergue which is a little bit too far outside of the town, really. I've never been able to go into the church, but photos online show it to be quite pretty.
You've seen my recommendation for breakfast at Bar Copas. And I'll repeat my advice that you should avoid the bar with the vines growing on the wall outside. The owner must get a lot of pilgrim business with his location right on the camino. My observation is that he does nothing to deserve it.
At Xunqueira, you are one stage from Ourense, the official 100km point at which many people start their Caminos. Amazing to think that it's taken us this long to get to the place where people start. isn't it?

Unfortunately, there's a big, ugly, industrial estate between Xunqueira and Ourense. So you need to do some planning here. I hope that someone will offer you guidance about the river route - a route that takes you around the worst of the industrial estate. I wish I had done that.
If you're thinking about using public transportation to avoid the industrial estate, I think you'll be frustrated. Although you'll encounter a few corrugated iron bus stops along the way, I've a feeling that they were on a bus route that no longer exists. When I tried looking up bus timetables, I found that the routes are all but impossible to work out and very infrequently served. From the industrial estate, it's easier to get a bus into Ourense, but by then you've been through the bit that you want to avoid.
There are buses from Allariz to Ourense - so one option would be to walk to Allariz, then catch a bus. By doing that, you would miss Seixalbo, which is a pretty exurb of Ourense. I guess that's not a bad option actually, since Seixalbo is just a couple of streets. Allariz is supposed to be historic and pretty.
The official camino route from Allariz to Ourense also goes through the industrial estate, so even if you have taken the alternative Camino via Verin, you're going to need to think of a strategy to deal with this. I find it frustrating that the powers that be can't be bothered to direct pilgrims along a pleasant route into one of the main "landmark" points of the Camino ... I'll stop there lest this becomes an anti Xunta rant.
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
... you will come across an intriguing invitation to take a detour to see some abandoned houses and a very old tree. The tree is rather hard to find without measuring distances and checking GPS but very worthwhile. (be careful there is a fork in the road by the sign and you don't want to go down the wrong one. If things get overgrown, turn back to the sign and see if there isn't an easier way to go).
...
Absolutely no problem to find it. As I already mentioned above it's well way-marked. Anyway here's my track from 2018: https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/camino-sanabres-albergueria-villar-de-barrio-24816302 (use OpenStreetMap view to see the track, at least I have to). Zoom in until you can see sharp left turn off the OU-113 to O Veredo.

And this is the tree but there was no one around so it hard to imagine the proportions:

20180512_133726.jpg

In Xunqueira de Ambia I stayed in 2015 muni albergue which isn't that bad but if you want some privacy I would suggest Casa do Souto (2018) and its beautiful garden, views and interior:

20180513_202737.jpg

...
Unfortunately, there's a big, ugly, industrial estate between Xunqueira and Ourense. So you need to do some planning here. I hope that someone will offer you guidance about the river route - a route that takes you around the worst of the industrial estate. I wish I had done that.
...
I agree, it's similar situation as coming to Burgos - industrial suburb vs. river walk. But it's not hard to find it. Here's my track from 2015: https://www.endomondo.com/users/16690154/workouts/570530284
If you zoom close enough just after KM23 you can see that I crossed OU-0517 and from there on it's very nice and shady walk along the river.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
The photo of the dining room at Casa de Souto struck me as much too civilized to have been anywhere that I stayed on that camino. I shall have to look for it on my next time through (after the Levante). That is, if I think that I coulld get a vegetarian meal there, as it looks more like a family dining room, likely to have minimal choices at the meal. Perhaps a phone call to ask in advance?
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
The photo of the dining room at Casa de Souto struck me as much too civilized to have been anywhere that I stayed on that camino. I shall have to look for it on my next time through (after the Levante). That is, if I think that I coulld get a vegetarian meal there, as it looks more like a family dining room, likely to have minimal choices at the meal. Perhaps a phone call to ask in advance?
Huh, I wouldn't know because we came there very late and didn't ask much about using their facilities. But I also don't remember anyone eating/cooking there that evening...
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just wondering if anyone else ate in the house where the woman in the first picture prepared a meal in Vilar de Barrio. I don’t think it was a proper restaurant, but maybe I am misremembering. Fourth picture is the pulpo stand in the same town. Second picture is the albergue in Xunqueira, which looks kind of like a rusty tin can. The one below is the church, well worth a visit, and the last two are of the town, which is pretty.

My only regret, oft repeated when Xunqueira comes up, is that the Bocatería Bejé has closed. I ate there twice and had great meals both times. It was a small place, run by two local women who lost their jobs at a factory nearby and decided to open up a restaurant. It was on the main road from the albergue into town. But a forum member informed me a few years ago that it has closed.

And I wonder if anyone remembers meeting an elderly resident living right behind the albergue in Xunqueira. He had chickens, a nice garden, and was very friendly. He was so excited to practice his French (having worked there post-Civil War) with my two companions in 2013, and I realize that was many years ago now!
 

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Raggy

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2017, 2018, 2019
Absolutely no problem to find it. As I already mentioned above it's well way-marked.
Well, I did not find it straightforward to find the tree in 2017 and to my surprise, I found it difficult again in 2019. So perhaps the way marking works for some and not others.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Well, I did not find it straightforward to find the tree in 2017 and to my surprise, I found it difficult again in 2019. So perhaps the way marking works for some and not others.
Hahaha, I was there in 2018, right between your two visits :D
I don't remember the tree was clearly marked but the route was (see my GPS track). It is located (the tree) some 30 meters after the last O Veredo ruined house approximately 20 meters from the path (a bit downhill) to the left if my memory serves me still. And I do have kind of a photo memory ;)
 

KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Oh, I found exact location of the tree mentioned: 42,14194, -7,58583 . It was recorded with my photo. I have never used these numbers so I don't have the slightest idea if they are useful :)
 

OzAnnie

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Hahaha, I was there in 2018, right between your two visits :D
I don't remember the tree was clearly marked but the route was (see my GPS track). It is located (the tree) some 30 meters after the last O Veredo ruined house approximately 20 meters from the path (a bit downhill) to the left if my memory serves me still. And I do have kind of a photo memory ;)
Great detail memory @KinkyOne
But some days seem to etch themselves more than others. I find that if you also take photos (as you did) and look at them from time to time - the memory is even more reinforced.

Laurie is another one that can recall details and experiences ; almost to the minute. Very impressive.
 

KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Great detail memory @KinkyOne
But some days seem to etch themselves more than others. I find that if you also take photos (as you did) and look at them from time to time - the memory is even more reinforced.

Laurie is another one that can recall details and experiences ; almost to the minute. Very impressive.
Ahhh, might be a bit more than 30 meters down the trail but I can't open the map big enough (post no.123) to see the distance. Anyway, I hope it is still there :D

But thanks anyway @OzAnnie !
 
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Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
I think I've narrowed down our point of contention to "it" or "well" ... but we seem to agree that one needs to be aware that the tree is a certain distance down the path (as indicated by the sign) and then a certain distance off the path (to the left). Having GPS coordinates is not a bad idea.

It's remarkable to think that the tree has watched pilgrims passing for about a thousand years. On this path, only the stones have witnessed more history. To give an idea of scale, here is a 180cm tall man, standing next to it.
 

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KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
... but we seem to agree that one needs to be aware that the tree is a certain distance down the path (as indicated by the sign) and then a certain distance off the path (to the left).
...
Exactly what I wrote if you read carefully but also my English could be a little bit "clumsy" sometimes :)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
Just wondering if anyone else ate in the house where the woman in the first picture prepared a meal in Vilar de Barrio. I don’t think it was a proper restaurant, but maybe I am misremembering. Fourth picture is the pulpo stand in the same town. Second picture is the albergue in Xunqueira, which looks kind of like a rusty tin can. The one below is the church, well worth a visit, and the last two are of the town, which is pretty.

My only regret, oft repeated when Xunqueira comes up, is that the Bocatería Bejé has closed. I ate there twice and had great meals both times. It was a small place, run by two local women who lost their jobs at a factory nearby and decided to open up a restaurant. It was on the main road from the albergue into town. But a forum member informed me a few years ago that it has closed.

And I wonder if anyone remembers meeting an elderly resident living right behind the albergue in Xunqueira. He had chickens, a nice garden, and was very friendly. He was so excited to practice his French (having worked there post-Civil War) with my two companions in 2013, and I realize that was many years ago now!

Yes,Laurie, in 2013 a friend and I ate at the lady's house opposite the Albergue in Vilar de Barrio.
So much good food that kept coming.There was no menu. We were full but didn't want to insult her by leaving any. Wonder if she is still there ?
 

Raggy

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Yes,Laurie, in 2013 a friend and I ate at the lady's house opposite the Albergue in Vilar de Barrio.
So much good food that kept coming.There was no menu. We were full but didn't want to insult her by leaving any. Wonder if she is still there ?
Was it a place with a blue door? If so, then I think that's who fed the pilgrims that I met, when they found themselves stuck without any way to buy food.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
At Xunqueira, you are one stage from Ourense, the official 100km point at which many people start their Caminos. Amazing to think that it's taken us this long to get to the place where people start. isn't it?
And it's taken us longer than most... 😄😂

Unfortunately, there's a big, ugly, industrial estate between Xunqueira and Ourense. So you need to do some planning here. I hope that someone will offer you guidance about the river route - a route that takes you around the worst of the industrial estate. I wish I had done that.
I assume you're referring to the industrial estate around A Castellana and A Zamorana.
I looked at the map of the area, and I was thinking that we could detour by taking the road towards Calvos, and then up to Reboredo (Google map attached). It is about an extra 800m according to Google.

There is a thread on this forum explaining how to avoid the slog into Ourense, along the rio Barbaña. This is also the path followed by @KinkyOne .

When @C clearly walked virtually from Xunqueira de Ambía to Ourense, @Raggy described the walk eloquently:
Strap on an N95 mask and tread carefully around the puddles of oily water.

Earlier he also prompted me to look at another option:
There are buses from Allariz to Ourense - so one option would be to walk to Allariz, then catch a bus. By doing that, you would miss Seixalbo, which is a pretty exurb of Ourense. I guess that's not a bad option actually, since Seixalbo is just a couple of streets. Allariz is supposed to be historic and pretty.
It is tempting to go to Allariz. It is after all on the alternative Sanabrés via Vérin. Then we could walk from Allariz to Ourense, and still experience Seixalbo. So this is what we are going to do: walk to Allariz, or even further to Taboadela. Depending on which route we take to Allariz, this would be a 14km to 16.5km walk. Then on to Ourense.

Day 62: Xunqueira de Ambía to Allariz

Actually, as we are going to take a rest day or two in Ourense, I think we should just walk into Allariz. The tourism website of the town lists a few things to see.

I have looked for trails which would lead me to Allariz, and found three:
8.4km along the Río Arnoia:
A shorter walk (6.7km), also partly along the same river:
A somewhat longer (9.2km) and more undulating trail:
According to Gronze, we shouldn't have an issue with finding accommodation.

Looking ahead, is one rest day enough in Ourense? Reading @peregrina2000 's comment, I think so.
I have always found Ourense to be a kind of depressing little city. But the portico on the cathedral (The Pórtico del Paraíso) is from the workshop of Maestro Mateo, who did the Pórtico de la Gloria in Santiago. The painting on the portico was recovered about 10 years ago by removing all the dust and grime. The painting appears to be from the barroque period rather than the original late romanesque. I had a long conversation with a priest there who told me he accepted the scientific findings that the painting was from the 18th century, but as keeper of the cathedral records, which go back to the 17th century and detail every bit of official action and expenditure, the lack of any mention of the painting project leads him to wonder if the painting is actually much older. But whatever century it is from, it is really lovely.
On the other hand, @Raggy does list quite a few things to do and see.
 

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KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
The bus from Allariz to Ourense has only two stops in Ourense itself (at least it was so in 2018). The first one is much closer to the old center if you don't want any (unexpected) additional city streets walking ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
The bus from Allariz to Ourense has only two stops in Ourense itself (at least it was so in 2018). The first one is much closer to the old center if you don't want any (unexpected) additional city streets walking ;)
Thank you @KinkyOne . The intention is to actually walk from Allariz to Ourense, but I am getting ahead of myself ☺
 

peregrina2000

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Xunqueira to Ourense had two negatives when I walked — the first one was the endless stream of trucks back and forth to AVE construction sites, but that might no longer be a problem. The second was the slog into Ourense, which you have already found the way around. The river walk is really nice.

If you do go to Allariz, you can get a really really nice tour out to Santa Mariña das Aguas with a small cultural company called Xeitura. Based on their upgraded website, their business has taken off since I was there a few years ago. Kanga took the tour and enjoyed it. Highly recommended, a great way to spend about 3 hours near Allariz.
 

Raggy

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I don’t remember AVE construction trucks on the road from Xunqueira, so I guess they finished their work around here. There is one hairy section of road between the Industrial estate and Seixalbo - a curved road where the cars and trucks move really fast. Not as narrow as some roads. Pedestrian area to the side is adequate. Visibility isn’t as bad as some places. But the vehicles go quite a bit faster than most roads that we walk along
I assume you're referring to the industrial estate around A Castellana and A Zamorana.
That’s the one. I think it’s official name is the San Cibrao Poligono, which sullies the name of the nearby village of San Cibrao that I can see on the map. I’m glad you have the instructions for avoiding it.
It’s disappointing that the official Camino doesn’t divert pilgrims away from it. I am tempted to say that this is what happens in places where the Camino is a job for the regional office of tourism and culture rather than a vocation for a passionate enthusiast.

Looking ahead, is one rest day enough in Ourense? Reading @peregrina2000 's comment, I think so.

On the other hand, @Raggy does list quite a few things to do and see.
Unless you have a specific interest in the museums or the Celtic sites, I think a day is enough. The area of historic interest is quite compact. Apart from the old town around the cathedral, the city lacks charm. I have a more positive impression of it than does Peregrina2000 but I can see why she isn’t enthusiastic. That said, if you’re feeling beaten up and exhausted by the 800km of road behind you, then a couple of days of writing postcards at cafe tables and relaxing in the free municipal baths is a good way to recover. You’ve got a hill to climb when you leave Ourense, so you can justify that extra plate of prawns. The restaurants by the cathedral are tourist oriented with prices to match but the quality of the seafood is really good from here all the way to the coast.
 
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Albertagirl

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I stayed just one night at the Xunta albergue in Orense and that was enough. Having walked from Sevilla, I was not yet accustomed to the taciturn and unhelpful manner of Xunta albergue employees. I found the man at the reception desk unwelcomiing. I was impressed by the cathedral, and found a restaurant to get a decent meal in the vicinity. I might stay a second night on my next visit, if the weather were fine to visit the municipal baths.
 

KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I stayed just one night at the Xunta albergue in Orense and that was enough. Having walked from Sevilla, I was not yet accustomed to the taciturn and unhelpful manner of Xunta albergue employees. I found the man at the reception desk unwelcomiing. I was impressed by the cathedral, and found a restaurant to get a decent meal in the vicinity. I might stay a second night on my next visit, if the weather were fine to visit the municipal baths.
Was that the new Xunta albergue or the older municipal one? I'm asking this because quite a few of us had some sort of quarrel with a very hostile hospitalero (wearing eye glasses, dark hair) in the municipal...
 

Albertagirl

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Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Was that the new Xunta albergue or the older municipal one? I'm asking this because quite a few of us had some sort of quarrel with a very hostile hospitalero (wearing eye glasses, dark hair) in the municipal...
i have consulted my credencial and the sello simply says "Albergue Ourense." What I remember about it is a dark and unwelcoming wooden structure, with a large garden behind it which was locked the whole time I was there. The man on reception at the front desk was middle-aged and often left the desk empty. When he was there, he seemed hostile to me. Gerald Kelly's description of the Xunta albergue in his VdlP guidebook, 2nd ed., seems to me to fit what I remember.
 

KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
i have consulted my credencial and the sello simply says "Albergue Ourense." What I remember about it is a dark and unwelcoming wooden structure, with a large garden behind it which was locked the whole time I was there. The man on reception at the front desk was middle-aged and often left the desk empty. When he was there, he seemed hostile to me. Gerald Kelly's description of the Xunta albergue in his VdlP guidebook, 2nd ed., seems to me to fit what I remember.
Was it this one? This is the municipal uphill from the old center.

2015-07-31 08.08.56.jpg

And this is the Xunta:

But maybe the person is the same...

PS (The municipal one is no longer listed on Gronze. Is it closed? Anybody knows?)
 

Albertagirl

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Was it this one? This is the municipal uphill from the old center.

View attachment 79516

And this is the Xunta:

But maybe the person is the same...

PS (The municipal one is no longer listed on Gronze. Is it closed? Anybody knows?)

This is an interesting puzzle. The address seems to fit what you call the municipal and Kelly calls the Xunta albergue, uphill from the Cathedral on the Rua Pena Trevinca on Kelly's map in his 2016 guide. I walked the VdlP in 2017. The second albergue which you show was opened in 2018, so cannot be part of my memories, and I do not recognize it at all. Perhaps the dark brown wood which I remember from the first albergue was on the inside, to fit the mood of the place. In any case, I stayed there on the 16th of November, 2017, and I remember it as quite dark.
 

KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
This is an interesting puzzle. The address seems to fit what you call the municipal and Kelly calls the Xunta albergue, uphill from the Cathedral on the Rua Pena Trevinca on Kelly's map in his 2016 guide. I walked the VdlP in 2017. The second albergue which you show was opened in 2018, so cannot be part of my memories, and I do not recognize it at all. Perhaps the dark brown wood which I remember from the first albergue was on the inside, to fit the mood of the place. In any case, I stayed there on the 16th of November, 2017, and I remember it as quite dark.
OK, puzzle solved. That was in "old" municipal albergue (Kelly is wrong here calling it Xunta run albergue) on Rua Pena Trevinca in the former monastery (now museum - next door to the left in my photo). There was quite tiny and dark lobby once you entered and a hospitalero booth with a sliding window. And the rude male was definitely the same. I really hope that the Xunta didn't hire him.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
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Ingles ('18)
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If you have a full day in Orense (and can figure out how to get here) this definitely looks worth a side trip, if Laurie is to be believed (and I have never had reason to doubt her statements...)
Santa Comba de Bande — I don’t think this is near any camino (at least not any that I know of), but I once spent a glorious weekend in Galicia in that area and took the short drive from Celanova (a very pretty Galician town) to visit the church. And ruins of a Roman fort along the way. Celanova has its own monuments to visit, too!
 

Raggy

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Judging from comments on Gronze, I think it's a certainty that the Xunta albergue is managed by the same unpleasant person who was in charge of the old municipal albergue. I winced when I read the Gronze review from the Germans who arrived a few minutes outside of opening hours and got an earful of bile,

Of course, there's favoritism involved in the allocation of these jobs - they go to the people who are favored by people who do favors for people in exchange for other favors, all in the service of the people who have the power to do even greater favors. When I come across them, I think of the stony faced attendants who sit in the booths between the escalators of the Moscow subway - pointless make-work for bitter people who can't afford to tell their employers to "stick this job."
That said, I wouldn't want to tar all the Xunta albergue hospitaleros and hospitaleras with the same brush. Some are good people with a lot of love for pilgrims. Sadly, the guy in Ourense isn't one of them.

I had the misfortune to meet a poor excuse for a hospitalero at the Xunta albergue in Muxia on the last day of my first Camino. It was a national holiday, so I think that he might have been a stand-in from the town hall, rather than the regular person in charge. When I arrived at the albergue, feeling elated and deflated by the completion of a 70-day adventure, I said hello with a wide smile. Without looking up from his phone he grunted "credential and passport." I stood still, repeated my greeting, and waited for eye contact. He was clearly embarrassed but he continued to deal with me like I was an inconvenience.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If you have a full day in Orense

I would go further and recommend the Ourense areas as a great area to visit ancient sites and stunning scenery (the Sil River gorge). One long weekend several years ago, I took a long weekend trip from Lisbon and wrote up this trip report. It is too long (but you are used to that from me), but I hope the itinerary might be of use to anyone who is considering traveling around this lovely area. A car is definitely needed, though. The whole thing started when a forum member noticed that the paradores were having specials, and I snagged a room in Santo Estevo for 75 €. It is one of the most gorgeous of all paradores, even though I find the modern minimalist interior decoration a bit jarring.

Thursday, I was able to leave Lisbon around 2 pm and drove up to Celanova, a long drive, and through a snow storm! No real accumulation where I was driving, but you could see a lot of snow in the mountains the next day (this was in late March). Hotel Celanova, a recently re-opened two star hotel, clean and basic, very nice, run by nice people. Right in center near the main square and monastery. Celanova is a very pretty place, lots of typical gallego architecture.

Friday -- after breakfast in the hotel, I drove to Santa Comba de Bande, 7C visigothic, south of Celanova, where Maricel let me in (You can find her phone number easily on line, she lives in the hamlet and is very flexible). Amazing place. The church itself is kind of hemmed in by neighborhood houses now, but is one of those jewels much in need of renovation. From there I went to Aquis Querquennis, a Roman military encampment, located on the way back to Celanova. Very interesting, 2 euros for interpretative center and access to the camp, the "mansion," and the thermal baths (about 8 people, mainly Portuguese, were taking baths in the hot springs. From there I drove back to Celanova to take the 12:30 tour of the monastery. Beautiful baroque altarpiece, visit to the 10C mozarabic chapel.

I then drove to Allariz for walk around and some lunch. I have to say I was amazed at the level of life activity in Allariz, it is one small Galician city that seems to be doing well. It has the requisite romanesque church and romanesque bridge, with a castle ruin at the top of the hill. At 4:30 I met Manuel, with Xeitura (a company he and two of his friends started to take people to cultural sites in the area), in Santa Mariña de Aguas Santas. We had an amazing 3 hours. First to the big romanesque church, with an astonishing capital or two. Big square church, kind of reminded me of the Santo Estevo on the MInho. Then we walked down to the "fornos" where the legend of Santa Mariña has an important part. The "fornos" were supposedly the underground ovens where she was martyred, but historical research suggests that it's more likely that these chambers were a pre-Roman sauna. But Miguel was very good about telling me the religious legend, the archaeological explanation, etc. From the fornos (which are underneath an incomplete romanesque church), we walked to the Castro, a celtic hill fort, huge in its expanse, dating back to 3,000-2,000 BC I think. From there we walked on, to the later Roman ruins nearby. Recently discovered, they think this was some sort of granary/garden/home, and not anything religious. I highly recommend contacting this group, http://xeitura.com/, they are serious and dedicated to the area´s cultural patrimony. Two historians and one archaeologist, or vice versa, but they are really hoping to be able to stay in Allariz and make a living. It was delightful.

After leaving Manuel, I had to drive to the parador, which was a bit challenging, even with my GPS that kept sending me off on narrow residential roads, but I got there by 7:45. I had a salad in the cafetería with my amigos welcome glass of wine, and then to bed after a chance to sit and contemplate the different cloisters (my favorite being the oldest one, but unfortunately most of the romanesque is gone). The setting of this parador is spectacular, not directly on the river, but nestled in a beautiful green valley.

Saturday, I was on the road by 9:00, after coffee and yoghurt in my room (brought my electric coil, which I take every year when I walk one camino or another). First stop was San Pedro de Rocas, a Romanesque church built into the rocks and then used as tombs, many anthropomorphic shapes in the lower levels. I walked a great 9 km circle, which involved seeing a peto de ánimas, one of those old stone structures where people used to deposit alms for the souls in Purgatory. After visiting the church, I drove to Parada de Sil and the church of Santa Cristina. WOW, this is a lovely place, down in a little woods near the river clinging to the side of the hill. Another Romanesque, beautiful entrance to the cloister, then a bigger church adjacent. Just an idyllic setting.

Because there was an orienteering race going on, no cars were allowed into Parada de Sil, so my walking plans around there were going to have to change. So I drove past Parada de Sil and found a trailhead that was about 3 km from the Balcons de Madrid, the best known viewing spot over the gorge. Lovely lovely walk, through a couple of hamlets and lots of forest. The views from the two different miradors are just amazing, looking down onto the Sil River gorge.

From there I drove back slowly to the parador, stopping at 3 or 4 more miradores along the river. One view was lovelier than the next, it was very nice. When I got back to the parador, with many hours of daylight left, I decided to walk on a well marked trail up to the hamlet of Pombar, about 2.5 km up from the parador, and then back down. More gorgeous views from nice paths in lovely woods.

I decided to head to the nearby (5 km) small town of Luintra to buy some supper fixings, which I later ate in one of the commons rooms of the parador. On my way into town I took a turnoff for the neolithic tombs. I couldn't really distinguish them from other piles of rocks, which is frequently my dilemma. But driving beyond and taking a turnoff for some miradores was a brilliant idea, it turned out. Just because it gave me another hour of walking in beautiful countryside!

Then into Luintra, just in time for the 8:30 closing time, where the woman in the little store made me a chorio and cheese sandwich, bought a tomato and a very sweet red pepper. Amazing day, absolutely amazing.

Sunday, to break up the monotony of the drive back to Lisbon, I decided to stop to visit the ruins at Conímbriga, which I hadn’t visited in at least ten years. Very nice detour, well worth the two hours and 2.5 euros. I ran into a Danish pilgrim walking the Camino Portugues who coincidentally had contacted me via the forum the night before about some details in Rabaçal. So I knew he would be walking from Rabaçal on Sunday, but had no idea that we would meet. (And by the way, if you are into Roman ruins, the villa at Rabaçal some kms south is a nice excavation with some excellent mosaics). It was a nice way to end the weekend, and I got back to Lisbon in early evening, in time for dinner at my go-to restaurant near the Marriott, Carvoeiro da Palma. It's one of the few places in the area open Sunday evenings.
 

Albertagirl

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I wouldn't want to tar all the Xunta albergue hospitaleros and hospitaleras with the same brush. Some are good people with a lot of love for pilgrims.
I would like to take this opportunity to mention two hospitaleras in Xunta albergues who went well beyond the call of duty to serve pilgrims. The first was a young woman in Hospital de la Condesa, where many pilgrims find themselves, having bypassed the O'Cebreiro Xunta albergue. On my last time through, many pilgrims had brought enough food to cook, but had the usual problem with no cooking utiensals at Xunta albergues. This young woman had brought a large pot from home for pilgrims to share to cook up a main dish for all those who chose to prepare their own food. I donated a metal cup and a spoon to one pilgrim, who had nothing to eat with, and went to eat at the local bar, where the food was even more atrocious than usual.
The second was a woman at the desk at Monte de Gozo some years ago. I stayed there in November and the nearest restaurant was closed for an end of season rest, as was the nearest food shop. None of the pilgrims wanted to walk a considerable distance to a further restaurant or try to find an open shop. This hospitalera took our orders for food that we wished from a shop a ways away and drove there to buy it for us. When she returned, she refused to take any money for it. May these women both be blessed as true hospitaleras.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
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2017, 2018, 2019
Yes. Agreed that there should be praise for the good Xunta hospitaleros and hospitaleras. To that list, I would add Orlando in Cea, which we are about to visit (as soon as we work up the energy to get out of Ourense's hot springs). I recall that I happened to meet him on the edge of the village. He walked quietly with me as far as the albergue before I realized that he was the guy with the keys. Last year, a friend told me that he saw tears in Orlando's eyes when Umberto arrived at the albergue. (Umberto is one of those pilgrims who has walked various Caminos repeatedly for the last several decades. You'll see his laminated photo in albergues all over Spain).

On the other hand, may the Xunta be condemned for failing to equip albergue kitchens with basic cooking utensils. At the new albergue in Ourense, for example people were complaining that there was literally no kit in the kitchen. The oft-cited rationale that "If they leave equipment in the kitchen, it will only get stolen," is rather like saying "If we clean it now, it will only get dirty again."
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
If you do go to Allariz, you can get a really really nice tour out to Santa Mariña das Aguas with a small cultural company called Xeitura. Based on their upgraded website, their business has taken off since I was there a few years ago. Kanga took the tour and enjoyed it. Highly recommended, a great way to spend about 3 hours near Allariz.
I am glad we made the decision to go to Allariz. We'll definitely consider the tour with Xeitura.

Day 63: Allariz to Ourense

We're walking part of the alternative trail between Laza and Ourense today, 19.4km according to Gronze. That webpage doesn't have the usual information that Gronze provides, such as a description, or a profile. Probably because it isn't used that much. I think @alansykes may have walked here.
We'll enjoy Seixalbo:
Seixalbo is a delightful surprise - a pretty town with beautiful stone buildings and narrow streets. There are a couple of shops, including a nice panadeira with a sign welcoming pilgrims. I've never made it this far without taking a break at an earlier cafe, so I haven't ever stopped here, but I'm sure it would be nice to find a park or a square and sit down for a bit. It's tempting to think that you're virtually in Ourense at this point, but in fact, you still have a fair bit of walking through outskirts to go
After Seixalbo, we'll make sure we take the riverside walk into Ourense.
@Raggy has recommendations for where to stay and what to see. Hostal Grelo is also mentioned by @C clearly . There is certainly a choice of accommodation in Ourense, and we would like to be in the casco antiguo.
Any recommendations for good places to eat?

Day 64: rest day in Ourense

Unless you have a specific interest in the museums or the Celtic sites, I think a day is enough. The area of historic interest is quite compact. Apart from the old town around the cathedral, the city lacks charm.
One day will be enough this time. We'll have to come back, with a car, to discover the area as recommended by @peregrina2000 :
I would go further and recommend the Ourense areas as a great area to visit ancient sites and stunning scenery (the Sil River gorge). One long weekend several years ago, I took a long weekend trip from Lisbon and wrote up this trip report. It is too long (but you are used to that from me), but I hope the itinerary might be of use to anyone who is considering traveling around this lovely area. A car is definitely needed, though.
None of your trip reports are too long, @peregrina2000 ☺ Thank you!!!
 

peregrina2000

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I don’t think we have yet posted the river walk instructions, but excuse me if it has already been done. I have never walked the official camino into Ourense, but I have heard and read that it is one of those unpleasant industrial/commercial park slogs. The river route is easy to find — just turn left at the Peugeot building. It takes you right into As Burgas where there are thermal baths, but these are not the baths most pilgrims are referring to when they talk about the baths. I remember As Burgas as a lively place with fresh produce markets and lots of flower stalls. And from what I can see, the new albergue is right there. The baths that are usually mentioned are a bit out of town, and you can take the little tourist train from the center to get there. Info on the tourism website.

As far as meals, I did have a very good meal in a place referred to me by, believe it or not, the grumpy hospitalero in the albergue. I did not note its name, but googling around and trying to remember, I think it might have been O Lar de Sabela. I remember that it was very small and crowded and near the cathedral.

The old albergue is adjacent to the Cloister of San Francisco. That would be right up there on my list next to the cathedral. I have stayed in the old albergue twice and was never able to visit it. The first time it was just closed to the public, and the second time some serious renovations were underway. I would say it is not to be missed, even though I have missed it!

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I don’t remember AVE construction trucks on the road from Xunqueira, so I guess they finished their work around here. There is one hairy section of road between the Industrial estate and Seixalbo - a curved road where the cars and trucks move really fast. Not as narrow as some roads. Pedestrian area to the side is adequate. Visibility isn’t as bad as some places. But the vehicles go quite a bit faster than most roads that we walk along

That’s the one. I think it’s official name is the San Cibrao Poligono, which sullies the name of the nearby village of San Cibrao that I can see on the map. I’m glad you have the instructions for avoiding it.
It’s disappointing that the official Camino doesn’t divert pilgrims away from it. I am tempted to say that this is what happens in places where the Camino is a job for the regional office of tourism and culture rather than a vocation for a passionate enthusiast.


Unless you have a specific interest in the museums or the Celtic sites, I think a day is enough. The area of historic interest is quite compact. Apart from the old town around the cathedral, the city lacks charm. I have a more positive impression of it than does Peregrina2000 but I can see why she isn’t enthusiastic. That said, if you’re feeling beaten up and exhausted by the 800km of road behind you, then a couple of days of writing postcards at cafe tables and relaxing in the free municipal baths is a good way to recover. You’ve got a hill to climb when you leave Ourense, so you can justify that extra plate of prawns. The restaurants by the cathedral are tourist oriented with prices to match but the quality of the seafood is really good from here all the way to the coast.
Glad you enjoy the seafood, but is there anything for vegetarians?
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
The industrial bit that I would most like to avoid is shortly before Seixalbo. Unfortunately the route from Allariz and the route from Xunqueira converge at Pereiras, and then take you through the industrial “polygon”

I would like some pioneering soul to step off the official route before Pereiras - perhaps going through Veredo or Calvos - and plough a new furrow to Seixalbo for future pilgrims to follow.

For vegetarians, Happy Cow lists restaurants that offer veggie and vegan options, as you would expect for a city of Ourense’s size. But all of them also serve meat. Similarly, any of the tourist-oriented places near the cathedral will have vegetable dishes alongside the full range of murdered offerings.
 
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peregrina2000

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Glad you enjoy the seafood, but is there anything for vegetarians?

In my experience, vegetarian restaurants in Spain tend to be of very high quality. Maybe that’s because it is so antithetical to the standard Spanish diet that they have to be great to survive. I am not a vegetarian but seek the vegetarian restaurants out while on camino just because I feel vegetable-deprived.

So I would second @raggy’s suggestion of doing an online search, doing a walk-by, and taking a chance. I did that in Mérida and had a terrific meal. Same in Valladolid on the Madrid.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
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2017, 2018, 2019
Are we still in Ourense? I think I gave a description of the less steep route out of town (to the right) in the previous thread. Perhaps we can go the left way this time and I’ll take a back seat and enjoy the descriptions. (I’ve heard that there’s also an unofficial left way via the hot springs but I think it joins up with the main left way eventually).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
The industrial bit that I would most like to avoid is shortly before Seixalbo. Unfortunately the route from Allariz and the route from Xunqueira converge at Pereiras, and then take you through the industrial “polygon”

I would like some pioneering soul to step off the official route before Pereiras - perhaps going through Veredo or Calvos - and plough a new furrow to Seixalbo for future pilgrims to follow.
According to Gronze, the route from Allariz avoids the industrial polygon, and does not converge at Pereiras, unless one wants to do a detour.
It is precisely because we are going to avoid the region around A Castellana that we walked to Allariz. Hopefully we are not mistaken!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Are we still in Ourense? I think I gave a description of the less steep route out of town (to the right) in the previous thread. Perhaps we can go the left way this time and I’ll take a back seat and enjoy the descriptions. (I’ve heard that there’s also an unofficial left way via the hot springs but I think it joins up with the main left way eventually).
We're leaving Ourense, @Raggy , after a day's rest. @C clearly is already way ahead, as she walked all the way to Oseira.

We could be accused of dragging our feet... But you see, whichever route we take out of Ourense, to the left or to the right, there is a climb out of the Miño valley. Unfortunately, climbs drain the energy of my darling too quickly. Please don't judge...
Of course, if her stamina allows it, we would walk all the way to Cea. But I would prefer to plan with a stop along the way.

If we go to the left, "por Canedo", there is no accommodation options until we reach Cea. If we go to the right, "por Tamallancos", we can stop at Tamallancos.

Day 65: Ourense to Tamallancos

It is a 12.4km day. @Raggy has indeed described the route to the right in @C clearly 's thread, and there he mentions we are now in two stamps a day territory.
We'll stay at the Hotel Via Stellae.

There's not much more to say about this short stage, except that it gives us the options of either stopping at Cea, or walking to Oseira.

@alansykes has indicated that he has stayed in both places. @Peregrinopaul has great photos of the monastery.

My initial reaction to reports about staying at the monastery made me think of skipping ahead, but then all those who stayed there have described it as a not to be missed experience, despite the austerity of the monastery's albergue. On the Norte, in 2018, we had two monastery experiences, one at Valdedios, and one at Sobrado dos Monxes. Admittedly, in both cases, we stayed in the better accommodation (private room), but the possibility of sharing the spirituality of the religious community in those two monasteries contributed to the highlights of our Camino.
The monastery at Oseira offers rooms in their hospederia to those who seek a spiritual retreat. A minimum of two nights is required, so when we walk this Camino in real life, we will consider this. There is no mention that it is restricted to men only:
es un espacio abierto a toda persona de buena voluntad que busque descanso para su alma y su cuerpo
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
The monastery at Oseira offers rooms in their hospederia to those who seek a spiritual retreat. A minimum of two nights is required, so when we walk this Camino in real life, we will consider this. There is no mention that it is restricted to men only:

When I stayed at Oseira, I went to an evening worship service with the monks in the monastery. There was one woman there who was not staying in the albergue, whom I understood to be staying in other accommodation in the monastery, on some type of retreat.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
According to Gronze, the route from Allariz avoids the industrial polygon, and does not converge at Pereiras, unless one wants to do a detour.
It is precisely because we are going to avoid the region around A Castellana that we walked to Allariz. Hopefully we are not mistaken!
Yes. Gronze’s map shows a route that Avoids the polygon - and this is definitely the way I would recommend.

Other sources, however, seem keen to send you through the smog:

1) With full descriptions, maps and everything

2) In English with less detail and an endearing description of a pilgrim rest area


... Pereiras, where it connects to the route from Xunqueira de Ambía.
With the two routes now united, the Way continues along the OU-0102. Leaving on the right hand side a petrol station with a shop to soon after pass below the railway line. Along the same route walkers reach A Castellana, here they will find services and a resting area for pilgrims, with a covered seating area

It sounds delightful doesn’t it? Perhaps a good spot to stop to enjoy the view and partake of some refreshment? I find it odd that one can write such a description and fail to mention the warehouses and factories all around.


I have no idea which way the arrows will direct you. I advise you to keep an eye on your gps and try to avoid the temptation of the covered rest area with seating for pilgrims.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
If we go to the right, "por Tamallancos", we can stop at Tamallancos.

Day 65: Ourense to Tamallancos
@Raggy has indeed described the route to the right
At the risk of repeating myself, this is the area where the Galician sounded close to Portuguese to me. Why here and not earlier when we were closer to Portugal? Well, my guess is that people and pronunciations travel more easily in the tame, relatively flat, and well connected areas with navigable rivers, than they do across short distances in the wild, mountainous regions.
Just my idle speculation. I welcome any Information, theory, or point of view that points me down a different rabbit hole.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
I have no idea which way the arrows will direct you. I advise you to keep an eye on your gps and try to avoid the temptation of the covered rest area with seating for pilgrims.
Definitely! I'll be looking for GPX tracks, or at least have the area downloaded for maps.me to make sure I avoid going back up to Pereiras.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 66: Tamallancos to Cea

It's a short day to Cea from Tamallancos, a 10km walk. No, we're not dragging our feet, we want to time our arrival in Oseira so we can experience more than just sleeping at the monastery.
Cea itself is a lovely village. There used to be bakeries on every corner - Today, you can view the ruins of those beautiful stone buildings and the horreos. If you feel like stopping here instead of continuing to the monastery, I don't think you'll regret it.
We'll stay at Casa Mañoso.

We're nearing SdC, and it's time I concluded this virtual camino: there's only a few days left before we arrive at the Praça do Obradoiro.
So I am going to post another day (all the other walkers are well ahead of us anyway ;) )

Day 67: Cea to Oseira

When we walked on the Via Podiensis in 2018, we went through Conques, where we had a rest day. We were able to participate in the various services that the monks of the community of the Prémontrés hold during the day, a wonderful spiritual experience. We would like to have a similar experience in Osiera, possibly arriving in time for the Oficio de Tercia.

So it is going to be another short day, just under 9km. Hopefully we will also be able to join the tour of the monastery in the afternoon.

EDIT: it looks like there will be improvements to the monastery's albergue by the time we walk in real life.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Thanks to this thread, to those on the Levante, and to the following thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...salvador-primitivo-and-via-de-la-plata.68155/
my next pilgrimage is coming together. It will be a long walk, from Valencia to Santiago, with at least two sigificant breaks: at Zamora, to visit the many Romanesque churches in the city and area, and at Oseira, for a retreat in the monastic hospederia. The assistance of so many on this forum has helped me to craft what I wish to be a lengthy retreat time. When it will be is up to the vaguaries of the pandemic and of the knee repacement surgery procedures in Alberta. I intended my last three pilgrimage walks to be retreat time, but I did not know how to design such a retreat, Thanks to all, I am learning.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Day 66: Tamallancos to Cea
It’s a pleasure after so much time in white bread country to find slices of nutty, grey, heavy bread accompanying your Caldo Gallego. You’ve probably been enjoying this kind of bread since you were in Ourense. And now you’ve reached the origin of Europe’s only bread to have a geographically controlled denomination. In the same way that wines can only carry the name of a region if they are produced in that region under the conditions (types of grape and production methods) that are covered by the denomination, so Pan de Cea must be made in Cea according to the traditions of the bakers to qualify as Pan de Cea. My guess is that bread produced with white flour in Cea would not be allowed to call itself Pan de Cea, even though it is indisputably bread from Cea. Perhaps it would be Pan a Cea, with miraculous healing powers:

I can’t tell you anything about the road to Oseira or the monastery, so I expect I’ll catch up with you again somewhere around Lalin.

* By nutty, I mean with an aroma and taste of coarse ground grain and texture that’s firm. AFAIK, the bread does not contain nuts.
 
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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)
I would have gone out of my way for this had I known about it.
Off topic, but nearby. Does anybody remember the name of the Panaderia near Roderio the Spanish royal family gets their bread? For a fanatic, that might be worth a detour from the Sanabres.
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I would have gone out of my way for this had I known about it.
Off topic, but nearby. Does anybody remember the name of the Panaderia near Roderio the Spanish royal family gets their bread? For a fanatic, that might be worth a detour from the Sanabres.


Panaderia Jésus!



🥖🥖🥖
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I would have gone out of my way for this had I known about it.
Off topic, but nearby. Does anybody remember the name of the Panaderia near Roderio the Spanish royal family gets their bread? For a fanatic, that might be worth a detour from the Sanabres.
If you want to try Pan de Cea you don't have to get out of the way because San Cristovo de Cea is right on the Sanabres.

Rodeiro (not Roderio) is indeed off the Sanabres because it's on Invierno. And the panaderia is called Jesus ;)
 

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)
Rodeiro (not Roderio) is indeed off the Sanabres because it's on Invierno. And the panaderia is called Jesus ;)
Oops.Typo...and indeed, I knew that it's way out of the way. ;)
Which is why I said fanatic. Any bread fanatic would tell you that kind of thing is worth a long detour. ;)
And this one's only 25.6 kms from Cea, my map tells me. Hmmm. Cea-Rodeiro-Lalin...quite doable.

Panaderia Jésus!
Jesus. An easy name to remember. Thanks Sabine and K1.
Sigh. I missed it :(:(:( and wish I'd read that article before I went.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
It’s a pleasure after so much time in white bread country to find slices of nutty, grey, heavy bread accompanying your Caldo Gallego. You’ve probably been enjoying this kind of bread since you were in Ourense. And now you’ve reached the origin of Europe’s only bread to have a geographically controlled denomination. In the same way that wines can only carry the name of a region if they are produced in that region under the conditions (types of grape and production methods) that are covered by the denomination, so Pan de Cea must be made in Cea according to the traditions of the bakers to qualify as Pan de Cea.
It even has its own website:

Speaking of bread:
Any bread fanatic would tell you that kind of thing is worth a long detour. ;)
And this one's only 25.6 kms from Cea, my map tells me. Hmmm. Cea-Rodeiro-Lalin...quite doable.
Doable, certainly. It looks like we can walk from Cea to Oseira, and then to Rodeiro. So for us slow walkers, that would be two days, one of just under 9km (our Day 67 above), and then one of about 17km to Roderio. Finally, one day on the Invierno from Rodeiro to Lalín, 21.8km. So doable, even for slow walkers ;)

I can’t tell you anything about the road to Oseira or the monastery, so I expect I’ll catch up with you again somewhere around Lalin.
We're catching up, @Raggy .

Day 68: Oseira to Estación de Lalín

@C clearly walked to A Laxe from Oseira. We'll stop in Estación de Lalín, that's a 22.9km stage. I think you stopped in Castro Dozón, @Raggy :
Enjoy the route through Oseira. I'll see you in Castro Dozon!
We might, in real life, stop at Castro Dozón from Oseira, and that would give us two short days. But I have tarried too long, we're getting close to the end.
I think it's in Castro Dozon that there's a bar with what looks like it used to be a supermarket at the back. If you inquire about food, the owner will apologize for not having any ... And then he will offer to throw together a sandwich or an omelet, which turns out to be absolutely perfect. made with ingredients from the store. I've had the identical experience twice - Perfectly pleasant but kind of odd.
In Estación we'll stay at the Hostal A Taberna de Vento. Gronze makes no mention of an albergue, but @Raggy mentions it in @C clearly 's Sanabrés:
Pilgrim accommodation in Estación de Lalin is in a big yellow building across the road from the Taberna A Vento, which is where you need to go to pick up the keys. It's not exactly "directly on" the camino as Bronze suggests, but as long as you go into the village, you can't miss it. The accommodation is quite comfortable - Best value if you're with friends is to share a basic room with multiple beds and a shared shower..
In four days, stopping at places recommended in this Forum, we will be in SdC. Thank you for being patient with us slow walkers...
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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Finally, one day on the Invierno from Rodeiro to Lalín, 21.8km. So doable, even for slow walkers
That may be an interesting alternative route and it would give you the chance to meet one of my favourite hospitaleros - Emiliano. The town is a modern, industrial town but I have a soft spot for it. The albergue is probably the best appointed albergue that I have ever stayed at. In addition to the things that delight pilgrims in other albergues (such as a washer and dryer), Emiliano’s place also boasts nice crockery, cutlery, cooking equipment, Nespresso machine in the kitchen; fan heaters in the bathroom to save you from ever feeling a chill on emerging from the shower; a lounge with a big TV and board games; new beds and renovated bedrooms with two or three bunk beds in each ... For an albergue on a not-so-popular route, it feels pretty fancy to me.

We’ll stop in Estación de Lalín, that's a 22.9km stage. I think you stopped in Castro Dozón,
I stopped in estacion once and Lalin once. (My Castro Dozon comment was about where the two routes from Cea converge). I regret never visiting Oseira. I have always been with other pilgrims who were eager to reach the “goal” of Santiago at this point. Honestly, that’s a mistake. The region is pleasant and there are enough accommodation facilities to allow you to stop frequently and enjoy this gentle countryside.

In four days, stopping at places recommended in this Forum, we will be in SdC. Thank you for being patient with us slow walkers...
Take your time. The Camino at this point gives you so many options - If you’re not constrained by deadlines, it should be a very enjoyable time.
 

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 would give you the chance to meet one of my favourite hospitaleros - Emiliano. The town is a modern, industrial town but I have a soft spot for it. The albergue is probably the best appointed albergue that I have ever stayed at. In addition to the things that delight pilgrims in other albergues (such as a washer and dryer), Emiliano’s place also boasts nice crockery, cutlery, cooking equipment, Nespresso machine in the kitchen; fan heaters in the bathroom to save you from ever feeling a chill on emerging from the shower; a lounge with a big TV and board games; new beds and renovated bedrooms with two or three bunk beds in each ... For an albergue on a not-so-popular route, it feels pretty fancy to me.
Yes, I was blown away, too. It was very comfortable. And the pizza he makes in the shop up the street is super, too. I never needed the kitchen because of that.

Lalin has a nice vibe. And the way out of town the next morning is very pleasant.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
If you take a route via Cea and Rodeiro, I guess we'd better wish you Buen Panino.

Note - I think there have been debates on some threads about whether the way out of Lalin is well waymarked. Some say it is. Some say it ain't. Let's not re-visit that issue here. Can someone just point to the relevant threads where this has been thoroughly discussed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
If you take a route via Cea and Rodeiro, I guess we'd better wish you Buen Panino.
😂 😂 😂 😂

Note - I think there have been debates on some threads about whether the way out of Lalin is well waymarked. Some say it is. Some say it ain't. Let's not re-visit that issue here. Can someone just point to the relevant threads where this has been thoroughly discussed.
We're not going to walk via Rodeiro on this virtual camino, so we're also not going to go through Lalín, which means that we're going to avoid the said debate.

Day 69: Estación de Lalín to Silleda

Everyone seems in a hurry to get to Santiago at this point, but with all the facilities after Estación de Lalin, there's no reason to rush ... I think if I were to do it again, I'd take three days to give myself an evening in Silleda ...
Take your time. The Camino at this point gives you so many options - If you’re not constrained by deadlines, it should be a very enjoyable time.
From Sevilla, we haven't been constrained by deadlines, and we have been trying to enjoy - disfrutar in Spanish - our Camino. So we're not in a hurry to get to SdC, and we're going to walk 15km to Silleda.
@C clearly walked through A Laxe and then further, so I won't get any advice on where to stay in Silleda from her virtual Camino. There shouldn't be any problem with choice, though, so we could go with two recommendations in Gerald Kelly's guide, either Hostal Gonzales, which is now called Hostal Bluû, or Casa Nova. Obviously, we're open to any other recommendation :)
Gerald Kelly also recommends Café Bar Maril and A Bodeguilla for meals.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
😂 😂 😂 😂


We're not going to walk via Rodeiro on this virtual camino, so we're also not going to go through Lalín, which means that we're going to avoid the said debate.

Day 69: Estación de Lalín to Silleda



From Sevilla, we haven't been constrained by deadlines, and we have been trying to enjoy - disfrutar in Spanish - our Camino. So we're not in a hurry to get to SdC, and we're going to walk 15km to Silleda.
@C clearly walked through A Laxe and then further, so I won't get any advice on where to stay in Silleda from her virtual Camino. There shouldn't be any problem with choice, though, so we could go with two recommendations in Gerald Kelly's guide, either Hostal Gonzales, which is now called Hostal Bluû, or Casa Nova. Obviously, we're open to any other recommendation :)
Gerald Kelly also recommends Café Bar Maril and A Bodeguilla for meals.
I have a suggestion for Silleda. I stayed twice at Hotel Ramos: very comfortable and with pilgrim rates. They are open outside of the busy season, when albergues and other accommodation are closed. They were very helpful on my first visit, phoning ahead, so that I knew whether accommodation closer to Santiago was available. On my second visit, the receptionist decided that I needed a really nice room (for the usual pilgrim rate) and gave me a luxury room with a spacious bathtub. I had two baths, to soak out the stiffness. Heaven!
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Day 69: Estación de Lalín to Silleda
Check out the church of Santiago in Trasfontao. I believe the pilgrim office in SDC gives bonus brownie points for credentials with lots of santiago stamps.
The town of Silleda is an un-pretty piece of Franco era town planning, like Lalin and Bandeiras, which lies ahead. Looks like you have a good hotel recommendation above. I see on the map that there is also a museum of mechanised farm equipment. I shall await a full report about that.
 

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    Votes: 96 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 24 1.8%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.0%
  • September

    Votes: 381 28.8%
  • October

    Votes: 158 12.0%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%

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