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Winter (way) is coming .. Or how to avoid the crowds on CF

Christian vaegter

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2016, Astorga to Fisterra
Sept 2018, SJPDP to Fisterra
This is a reflection of my current camino, still ongoing on the way to Muxia. Starting in SJPdP in mid September, it has been a wonderful experience, meeting so many great people along the way. As I passed Astorga, the number of people started to increase rather much. No problem there as every one of us walking are equally contributing to "the crowd". But I decided to try the Invierno from Ponferrada in an attempt to have a more personal Camino until Santiago. And what a wonderful way the Invierno is!!! I like long days so I walked it in 8 days, arriving Santiago yesterday .. And in that time I met only 2 other pilgrims in total!! Amazing scenery and there is strong feeling of pilgrimage relative to the more busy CF. My only regret is that I don't speak Spanish so communicating was not easy .. But then again, not too complicated with hand signs and Google translate. The Invierno is less flexible in terms of accommodation but is was not a problem at all to find food and a bed. @peregrina2000 has complied a wonderful PDF guide available for free on this forum and offline GPS map is available as app by wise pilgrim/wisely. My higest recommendations to the Invierno as an alternative way from Ponferrada to Santiago if you want a beautiful and solitary experience, in combination with the CF but avoiding the last (and crowded) 200 km.
 
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Kiernan

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Very useful, thank you!
That's my idea for next february, but my budget could be not enough to afford that "no-albergues" option. Have in mind try hard to solve it, because I didn't like that crowded last part (even in March!)
 

Christian vaegter

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2016, Astorga to Fisterra
Sept 2018, SJPDP to Fisterra
Very useful, thank you!
That's my idea for next february, but my budget could be not enough to afford that "no-albergues" option. Have in mind try hard to solve it, because I didn't like that crowded last part (even in March!)

Hi Kiernan
Accommodation wasn't really expensive .. Most places I paid €20, sometimes a little less and one time that even included breakfast. I never paid more than €30. At the same time all other prices (food, coffee) are local prices, i.e. not inflated pilgrim prices. So it would really be a shame to avoid the Invierno based in economy unless you run on a REALLY tight budget.
I didn't see many other pilgrims. A nice thing as I love the solitary walks and had a feeling of having my own private camino, but I missed my camino family from the main route in the evenings. However, with sms etc it was easy to catch up in Santiago and walk to Muxia and Fisterra together. Hopefully the Invierno will develop a bit with more regular albergues without being the circus of the last 100 km of the CF.
I can only encourage you to try it next February. If you don't speak Spanish you also have the time to learn the basics.
Best, Chris.
 

The Austrian

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Nov 11, 2016
CF Oct 31, 2018
So Chris, here is the question: Winter spots to overnight on the Invierno? Planning for early November departure, which puts me at Ponferrada around third week of November?
 
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Christian vaegter

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2016, Astorga to Fisterra
Sept 2018, SJPDP to Fisterra
So Chris, here is the question: Winter spots to overnight on the Invierno? Planning for early November departure, which puts me at Ponferrada around third week of November?

Hi Austrian.
My best guess is that all the places I stayed will be open all year, being hostals and hotels. But exactly were you end up depends on your daily distances. I used a combination of booking.com, the apps mentioned in my original post, the PDF by @peregrina2000 and in one case just a hostal I came across on the way. I mostly just planned 1-2 days ahead.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
This is a reflection of my current camino, still ongoing on the way to Muxia. Starting in SJPdP in mid September, it has been a wonderful experience, meeting so many great people along the way. As I passed Astorga, the number of people started to increase rather much. No problem there as every one of us walking are equally contributing to "the crowd". But I decided to try the Invierno from Ponferrada in an attempt to have a more personal Camino until Santiago. And what a wonderful way the Invierno is!!! I like long days so I walked it in 8 days, arriving Santiago yesterday .. And in that time I met only 2 other pilgrims in total!! Amazing scenery and there is strong feeling of pilgrimage relative to the more busy CF. My only regret is that I don't speak Spanish so communicating was not easy .. But then again, not too complicated with hand signs and Google translate. The Invierno is less flexible in terms of accommodation but is was not a problem at all to find food and a bed. @peregrina2000 has complied a wonderful PDF guide available for free on this forum and offline GPS map is available as app by wise pilgrim/wisely. My higest recommendations to the Invierno as an alternative way from Ponferrada to Santiago if you want a beautiful and solitary experience, in combination with the CF but avoiding the last (and crowded) 200 km.
I am considering this route my my next Camino, for precisely the same reason! Good to hear your observations
 

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