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Watering holes on the Variante Espiritual?

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MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
Our Camino starts in a couple of weeks time and we will be walking the Variante Espiritual.

A practice walk yesterday taught us a lesson about carrying enough water and just how much water can be drunk when the temperatures start to climb. Duh!

We both have backpacks with bladders but do we need to fill them each day? Are there stops along the way where we can get water or should we expect some long stretches without?

I ask specifically about the Variante because I have the idea, perhaps wrongly, that it is a road less travelled and therefore potentially without the same infrastructure as other routes.

I did take a look at Gronze but it doesn't seem to cover the Variante.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Hi @MaxHelado,
Do you have Roy Uprichard's book? You can order it for kindle so you can take it on your phone. This is the US link, but you can probably find it on the UK Amazon site, too. Might be helpful. I met him in Santiago a few years ago and read the book even though I have not walked this variant.

I would empty water out of my bladder and refill it daily so you know how much you have exactly. It might also be cooler that way. Enjoy your Camino!

 

MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
Hi @MaxHelado,
Do you have Roy Uprichard's book? You can order it for kindle so you can take it on your phone. This is the US link, but you can probably find it on the UK Amazon site, too. Might be helpful. I met him in Santiago a few years ago and read the book even though I have not walked this variant.

I would empty water out of my bladder and refill it daily so you know how much you have exactly. It might also be cooler that way. Enjoy your Camino!

I do indeed have "Stone & Water". It's a lovely book but so far as I know there is no listing of where along the route I might find bars or restaurants or simply a tap in a wall.

And we do fill our bladders each morning so the water is fresh and cool. The question really is, do we need to fill them to the brim or can we expect to refill along the way? Sorry if I wasn't clear in my original post.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
If you are walking during normal hours (not in the pre-dawn darkness!) during the “normal” pilgrim season, there are plenty of bars, cafes, and stores along the route that you can get drinks at and possibly fill your water bladder. I do not recall how many public water fonts there were, but nearly all restaurants will fill your water bottle when you stop for lunch. The Spiritual Variant is usually done in just 2 to 3 days, so even buying water for that brief period is a small cost.
 

MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
If you are walking during normal hours (not in the pre-dawn darkness!) during the “normal” pilgrim season, there are plenty of bars, cafes, and stores along the route that you can get drinks at and possibly fill your water bladder. I do not recall how many public water fonts there were, but nearly all restaurants will fill your water bottle when you stop for lunch. The Spiritual Variant is usually done in just 2 to 3 days, so even buying water for that brief period is a small cost.
Thank you Vacajoe.
I have no problem buying water along the way, it was the availability that I was worried about. You have put my mind at rest!
BTW I believe that under recent Spanish law all bars and restaurants must now offer water to visitors at no charge! Not something to be abused, in my opinion, but nonetheless comforting to know.
 
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MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
Normally if you ask, they will fill a water bottle at no charge. Maybe carry an empty plastic one to top off your water bladder?
Good idea. And as I said (or tried to say) earlier, I think they are legally bound to do so.

My real question was about the frequency of bars or restaurants on the Variante.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Good idea. And as I said (or tried to say) earlier, I think they are legally bound to do so.

My real question was about the frequency of bars or restaurants on the Variante.
Cafés were plentiful between Pontevedra and Combarro.
Combarro to Armenteira - nothing.
At Armenteira Cafés
Barrantes I recommend Hs OS Castanos. We stayed there. Great food and they packedcus a breakfast as Sunday b'fast started a 09.00.
Along the river walk nothing but a slight detour at Pontearnelas lead us to an excellent café.
Cafés along the sea front walk to Vilanova de Arousa.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
If you have time, I recommend braking up the section to Armenteira and staying the night in Combarro. It is a cute town on the water with excellent food. It will give you time to go in the Monastary in Poio (if open) and take a rest before the climb to Armenteria.
 
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FLEUR

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
If you have time, I recommend braking up the section to Armenteira and staying the night in Combarro. It is a cute town on the water with excellent food. It will give you time to go in the Monastary in Poio (if open) and take a rest before the climb to Armenteria.
We did exactly that.
 
Past OR future Camino
April/May 2020
If you have time, I recommend braking up the section to Armenteira and staying the night in Combarro. It is a cute town on the water with excellent food. It will give you time to go in the Monastary in Poio (if open) and take a rest before the climb to Armenteria.
We did exactly that and we loved Combarro and stayed two nights.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Do not underestimate the Stones and Water route, steep and very rocky but of course it's beautiful.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
We just finished-there are plenty of places. The last six miles to Vilanova on the long stretch from Armenteira to Vilanova- less so.
I hope to walk it next year. Any albergues or cafes that you really loved. I am a budget pilgrim and don't do Michelin (although if someone wants to take me... :)) but there are always some gems everywhere.
 
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MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
Cafés were plentiful between Pontevedra and Combarro.
Combarro to Armenteira - nothing.
At Armenteira Cafés
Barrantes I recommend Hs OS Castanos. We stayed there. Great food and they packedcus a breakfast as Sunday b'fast started a 09.00.
Along the river walk nothing but a slight detour at Pontearnelas lead us to an excellent café.
Cafés along the sea front walk to Vilanova de Arousa.
Thank you, Fleur. This gives me some great information on what I can expect.
Sounds like I can rest easy between Pontevedra and Combarro but I need a full tank to get me up the climb to Armenteira.
 

MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
We were in Combarro a few years ago and it is undeniably beautiful. However when we were there it was also undeniably busy to the pint that the narrow path that winds between the bars and restaurants became so crowded it was unpleasant.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
We were in Combarro a few years ago and it is undeniably beautiful. However when we were there it was also undeniably busy to the pint that the narrow path that winds between the bars and restaurants became so crowded it was unpleasant.
I can well imagine that.
 
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amhtk

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2022
Just walked this. From Combarro there are a few spots in the first part of the ascent as well as a spot where someone has left out a donativo cooler for pilgrims. The donativo is the last spot before the monastary, so I would make sure you feel well hydrated at that point as well as have water for the remainder is the stage.
 

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