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LIVE from the Camino @Yoga Girl on the Invierno!

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Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Friday, May 17, 2019
57500
A quiet, challenging at times, but beautiful walk through a variety of landscapes. I started walking alongside the gorgeous River Sil, then continued through hamlets, vineyards, cherry orchards, a ghost town, quarry, castle, gnarled trees, well-manicured neighborhoods, dilapidated stone villages, barking dogs, a two-stork town, pine forest, high desert- with lots of ups and downs. Trail conditions were great (not muddy), mostly dirt paths, but some asphalt roads after Castillo Cornatel. I ended up in the stunning red rock formations, Las Médulas, which were mined by the Romans for gold.
I saw just one other pilgrim. No pilgrims’ nest cafes, just a few local bars. If you’re feeling crowded on the Francés, take the Camino Invierno in Ponferrada. In some areas, trail isn’t well marked, so I used Wise Pilgrim’s Invierno guide and offline map to navigate. Photos are on my public Facebook page.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Friday, May 17, 2019
View attachment 57500
A quiet, challenging at times, but beautiful walk through a variety of landscapes. I started walking alongside the gorgeous River Sil, then continued through hamlets, vineyards, cherry orchards, a ghost town, quarry, castle, gnarled trees, well-manicured neighborhoods, dilapidated stone villages, barking dogs, a two-stork town, pine forest, high desert- with lots of ups and downs. Trail conditions were great (not muddy), mostly dirt paths, but some asphalt roads after Castillo Cornatel. I ended up in the stunning red rock formations, Las Médulas, which were mined by the Romans for gold.
I saw just one other pilgrim. No pilgrims’ nest cafes, just a few local bars. If you’re feeling crowded on the Francés, take the Camino Invierno in Ponferrada. In some areas, trail isn’t well marked, so I used Wise Pilgrim’s Invierno guide and offline map to navigate. Photos are on my public Facebook page.
Have a lovely time
I will be following your posts daily...and following in your footsteps in a month
Best wishes
Annette
 

gollygolly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Bon Camino... it is a beautiful, magnificent and very well marked Camino and I am confident that while you will not encounter many, or possibly any other pilgrims walking on the Invierno until the last couple of days, you will be having a great experience.
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Tracked walk video are now available so you can see the actual route and where photos were Captured.
Part 1 I got as far as Borrenes and thought I would end the day there:
It looked like the hotel across the street from bar was nice for €25.
After a beer, I felt like I could continue on! So here’s part 2:
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Day 2 Camino Invierno. Las Médulas to O Barco de Valdeorras. 30 km.
The walk leaving Las Médulas was pretty. There were light showers and sunshine. 2nd morning in a row with a rainbow! Then, a hilly climb with grand views up and down to Puente de Domingo Flórez which has a churrería. I earned and enjoyed my chocolate con churros. The crossing into Galicia has no sign or makeshift rock border like on the Primitivo has. Arrows are missing and sketchy but Galicia installed new markers recently. Walk follows the Rio Sil and railroad for most of the day, so views are scenic. But not any services between Quereño & Sobradelo, which has Bar Mar, the friendliest pilgrim bar I’ve been to on the Invierno. Highly recommend it. The walk to O Barco was grueling because I was exhausted, it was windy and lots of it on asphalt. Consider taking a taxi to O Barco to save your energy. I stayed at Hostal Gran Tortuga single room with private bath €20 includes breakfast. This might be TMI, but this route is new and has some rough patches so I am taking good notes for a route report I’ll publish this summer on my Camino Provides blog.
I didn’t see any other pilgrims except for 2 bikers from Spain.
Below is a link to the tracked walk video with photos.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Day 2 Camino Invierno. Las Médulas to O Barco de Valdeorras. 30 km.
The walk leaving Las Médulas was pretty. There were light showers and sunshine. 2nd morning in a row with a rainbow! Then, a hilly climb with grand views up and down to Puente de Domingo Flórez which has a churrería. I earned and enjoyed my chocolate con churros. The crossing into Galicia has no sign or makeshift rock border like on the Primitivo has. Arrows are missing and sketchy but Galicia installed new markers recently. Walk follows the Rio Sil and railroad for most of the day, so views are scenic. But not any services between Quereño & Sobradelo, which has Bar Mar, the friendliest pilgrim bar I’ve been to on the Invierno. Highly recommend it. The walk to O Barco was grueling because I was exhausted, it was windy and lots of it on asphalt. Consider taking a taxi to O Barco to save your energy. I stayed at Hostal Gran Tortuga single room with private bath €20 includes breakfast. This might be TMI, but this route is new and has some rough patches so I am taking good notes for a route report I’ll publish this summer on my Camino Provides blog.
I didn’t see any other pilgrims except for 2 bikers from Spain.
Below is a link to the tracked walk video with photos.
I've walked this Camino more times than anyone, I believe (I'll be back in Monforte de Lemos in a couple of weeks' time with a friend), and would make a couple of points:

The route is certainly NOT new. Arrows missing? The signposting is absolutely perfect all the way from Ponferrada.

Bar Mar in Sobradelo is very pilgrim friendly, but so is the Cafetería Pontenova Centro Social, more or less opposite. It's a pity that the owners don't get on very well!

Gran Tortuga would always be my choice of a hostal in O Barco. I've stayed in the others, and this one wins hands down; as you say, free breakfast downstairs in the bar.
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Day 3 Camino Invierno: O Barco to A Rua
Thankfully it was a shorter day! 1 very colorful pilgrim spotted and he’s walked caminos 58 different times.
Casa do Solaina is closed but I met the owner and her mum. I stayed at Hostal Niza - €25 private full bath.
Here is the tracked video.

I’m adding all my photos with detailed con this album:
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Day 4: A Rua to Monforte de Lemos vía train. Unfortunately, an illness had me re-adjust my original plan of walking to Quiroga. After visiting Asún and a pharmacist in A Rua, I had to take a day to recover. I decided to take Renfe to Monforte de Lemos and was so glad to arrive early (11:15) and not be exhausted, as this was a stay the Parador. I explored the town a bit, had a nice Caldo, a salt bath, and after a good sleep, I felt restored.

Here are a few 3D videos with photos:
Day 3 exploring A Rua:

Day 4 Renfe to the rescue!

Day 4 exploring Monforte: https://www.relive.cc/view/u3554546212

57731

956BCCEF-E9AC-4E22-9F43-CCF4926D54C5.jpeg
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
I've walked this Camino more times than anyone, I believe (I'll be back in Monforte de Lemos in a couple of weeks' time with a friend), and would make a couple of points:

The route is certainly NOT new. Arrows missing? The signposting is absolutely perfect all the way from Ponferrada.

Bar Mar in Sobradelo is very pilgrim friendly, but so is the Cafetería Pontenova Centro Social, more or less opposite. It's a pity that the owners don't get on very well!

Gran Tortuga would always be my choice of a hostal in O Barco. I've stayed in the others, and this one wins hands down; as you say, free breakfast downstairs in the bar.
Charrito, that’s awesome! More Caminos than anyone?! 👏🏻

My experience when I walked into Centro Social wasn’t great. My vibe was to find another place so I’m glad I went to Bar Mar instead. Very welcoming and friendly people. Manuel gave me a nice Camino Invierno t-shirt.

Gran Tortuga was decent for the price, though it smelled a bit musty. I was grateful for the nice breakfast even though I couldn’t keep it down. It wasn’t anything to do with their food - I just was very sick the morning of my 3rd day. Much better now.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Charrito, that’s awesome! More Caminos than anyone?! 👏🏻

My experience when I walked into Centro Social wasn’t great. My vibe was to find another place so I’m glad I went to Bar Mar instead. Very welcoming and friendly people. Manuel gave me a nice Camino Invierno t-shirt.

Gran Tortuga was decent for the price, though it smelled a bit musty. I was grateful for the nice breakfast even though I couldn’t keep it down. It wasn’t anything to do with their food - I just was very sick the morning of my 3rd day. Much better now.
I mean more Caminos de Invierno!

Lili, in the other bar, is really friendly (it helps when she knows me by name, I suppose!), but so are Carla and Manuel in Bar Mar. Healthy competition would be great, but they really don't get on! What a pity.

In Gran Tortuga the rooms at the front are better than those inside, but it's a pretty decent deal.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
The Parador in Monforte is lovely but I have to say it wins the prize for the worst coffee I have ever come across in Spain!
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Day 5: Monforte to Chantada (36 km)
Part 1:
This is the day that I captured the sheep herding scenario and met that sweet 77-year-young farmer lady- you might have seen the videos on my page. This was a long stage, and it was the hottest day yet. I zipped the legs off my pants around 11 am and my pale legs got some sunshine, except for the parts on the back of my calves that had pain patches. LOL! I’m branded.
It was lovely and very scenic but lots of asphalt, so I did the unthinkable. I stuck my thumb out and hitched a ride. A car stopped and lowered its tinted windows. I was kinda scared that it would be a creepy pilgrim molester, but was relieved to see a young black woman with a big smile and braces. I showed her where I was going on my app and she said she was heading that way and could take me. I got in and off we went through more winding paved roads. I didn’t miss much, except for maybe 8 km of painful pavement pounding! She’s from the Dominican Republic, the same area where my dad lived, so we bonded over that (all of this in my best attempt at Spanglish). I spotted the church where the Camino route turns down a dirt path, so I asked her to let me out. I offered her money, which she refused, but gave her a patch. She’s a Camino Ángel! That brave decision to hitchhike saved my legs and energy, for there was a steep descent of switchbacks, rocks and dry leaves that I had to negotiate. Known as the “codos (elbows) de Belesar”, this was part of a Roman and later medieval road, some of the old stones remain. Here are photos up to that point.
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
The Parador in Monforte is lovely but I have to say it wins the prize for the worst coffee I have ever come across in Spain!
Maybe that’s why they have the Nespresso pods now. I love those machines!
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
Day 5: Monforte to Chantada (36 km)
Part 1:
This is the day that I captured the sheep herding scenario and met that sweet 77-year-young farmer lady- you might have seen the videos on my page. This was a long stage, and it was the hottest day yet. I zipped the legs off my pants around 11 am and my pale legs got some sunshine, except for the parts on the back of my calves that had pain patches. LOL! I’m branded.
It was lovely and very scenic but lots of asphalt, so I did the unthinkable. I stuck my thumb out and hitched a ride. A car stopped and lowered its tinted windows. I was kinda scared that it would be a creepy pilgrim molester, but was relieved to see a young black woman with a big smile and braces. I showed her where I was going on my app and she said she was heading that way and could take me. I got in and off we went through more winding paved roads. I didn’t miss much, except for maybe 8 km of painful pavement pounding! She’s from the Dominican Republic, the same area where my dad lived, so we bonded over that (all of this in my best attempt at Spanglish). I spotted the church where the Camino route turns down a dirt path, so I asked her to let me out. I offered her money, which she refused, but gave her a patch. She’s a Camino Ángel! That brave decision to hitchhike saved my legs and energy, for there was a steep descent of switchbacks, rocks and dry leaves that I had to negotiate. Known as the “codos (elbows) de Belesar”, this was part of a Roman and later medieval road, some of the old stones remain. Here are photos up to that point.
Did you walk through Belasar?
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Yes! I stopped in Belesar for a much needed meal. I would have loved to spend a night there but no accommodations. That place was so beautiful!
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Day 5 Part 2 Monforte to Chantada
Tracked hike video:
I had a spring in my step after getting that ride. Then I saw the 100 KM marker! The Wise Pilgrim App showed a different distance to Santiago (112km). Whatever, pilgrims can’t resist a good photo op!
When I reached the bottom of the zigzagging descent, thankfully with no falls, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A steep canyon with terraced vineyards on both sides of the river Mino. It was so beautiful! I went from farms and cows to wine country. Ribeira Sacra. Photos at:
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Day 6 Chantada to Rodeiro, 25 km
It was another long, but beautiful walk through farms, windmills and up to Alto de Faro. On my way out of Chantada, I stopped at a café that hadn’t had a pilgrim customer for a long time. The place had a sello, but the ink had dried out- so I only got 1 stamp that day. Stops are few and far between on most stages on the Invierno, so I have been packing snacks for the long days. Some pilgrims wouldn’t like the lack of infrastructure. I am lucky to have great weather and received warm greetings by locals, like an invitation to coffee and tour of an amazing farmhouse called Boan.
Photos at:
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Day 7: Rodeiro to Lalin 24 km (14.7 miles)
Video of tracked walk: https://www.relive.cc/view/u3565790803
It’s election season so there are lots of posters of politicians plastered everywhere. And vans that go around town with speaker rallying for the candidates. It’s noise pollution to me. Alas, a beautiful walk through more farms and wooded paths near rivers, streams and forest. Just when I thought I’d jettison the shoe covers, I encountered the first patches of unavoidable mud. So I used those Daiso covers to keep my shoes dry and they worked great! This Camino still has great trail conditions compared to the Primitivo.
Photos:
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Great vibe in Lalin. Lalin Centro was probably the best albergue I’ve been to. Clean, great location, well equipped kitchen and friendly owners. Cost just €10. It was my first bunk bed on the Invierno! Well, now it’s VdlP Sanabres and I’m not the only pilgrim! 😍
A few photos:
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Day 8: Lalin to Silleda 19 km (12 miles)
Tracked video:
The pilgrim statue was a perfect sendoff for my 8th day of walking. The walk leaving Lalin is along a beautiful river walk with bridges, mill houses, picnic areas and locals enjoying nature. Today I saw more farms, horses, signs for the equestrian Camino route and stopped by the municipal Albergue in A Laxe. Photos:
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Day 6 Chantada to Rodeiro, 25 km
It was another long, but beautiful walk through farms, windmills and up to Alto de Faro. On my way out of Chantada, I stopped at a café that hadn’t had a pilgrim customer for a long time. The place had a sello, but the ink had dried out- so I only got 1 stamp that day. Stops are few and far between on most stages on the Invierno, so I have been packing snacks for the long days. Some pilgrims wouldn’t like the lack of infrastructure. I am lucky to have great weather and received warm greetings by locals, like an invitation to coffee and tour of an amazing farmhouse called Boan.
Photos at:
Lucky you that had a nice weather up there! Heavy fog when I went up there last year, saw nothing at all!
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo
Day 8 exploring Silleda. I thought I’d try to make it to Bandiera, but that would have been another 9 km to walk. I was getting tired so decided to stop for the day. Silleda is a nice place to hang your hat on the Camino Sanabres. The Gran Albergue is also known as Bluu Hostal, a trendy boutique hotel. I got a room with a small bathtub. I went to the Dia market to get some provisions. The hotel went a little crazy with the word art, but I like it! I also liked my hippie room.
Photos:
 

Yoga Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) Camino Portuguese
(2017) Ingles
(2018) Primitivo

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
Three of us will be setting off from Monforte de Lemos next Monday, after driving up from Salamanca on the Sunday. I've done the Invierno quite a few times, but María and Juanjo only made it to Monforte last year. Talking of weather, it looks as though for the first time I'll be lucky, and it won't be ridiculously hot.
 

Charrito

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
Portugués
Portugués Var. Esp.
Port. Cost
Fisterra
Inglés
Invierno
Norte
Sanabrés
Primitivo
I may be there on Sunday. Who knows, @Charrito we might meet up, if you guys are faster than I.
Which Sunday are you talking about? This Sunday? Where? OK, I've just read your beautiful account of the stage from Ponferrada to Borrenes. Let's hope we can meet up somewhere in Monforte de Lemos on Sunday, although I'm not sure you'll make it by then.

Buen camino! Enjoy the Invierno.
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I think @Charrito is the man that walked different parts of Invierno more times than anyone else. At least on this forum. He's really afficionado of this Camino and that's why I called him a legend. You want to know something about Invierno? He's the person you talk to. He just loves this Camino!
 
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