A bit of the Camino de Santiago..

Old Dec 19th, 2011, 08:11 AM
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cruiselin-- I walked the Camino last year. I am going back this May 2012 Pamplona to Burgos portion. I am booking lodging myself. I am keeping lodging below 40E/day, breakfast included, and along the Camino Frances route as my main criteria. So far, I have NOT encountered any issues whatsoever meeting the criteria. Plenty options. Booked all the way to Logrono already. I can share my finds if you send me your email.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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BTW, I bought a Kindle for The Camino. The "desecration" of books and forced downselection of written material becomes a mute issue.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 11:25 AM
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Laurie,

Continued thanks for all the info. For sure I have to train for long walks but hiking very steep terrain gives me pause. I think the best thing before I head out there is to find somewhere near where I live that has a similar elevation and see how I do.
I'm not going to stay in albergues but book in advance in casas rurales or hotels.
I might stay in Villafranca for one night and thought maybe I could get a ride to La Faba and start walking there and that way avoid part of the climbing and also shorten the walking time up to O'Cebreiro.

Lin, good to hear that after O'Cebreiro is not a major issue (although some people's comments about the climb to Alto do Poio make it sound very challenging).

Viajero, thank you for the offer, you can email me at my screen name at aol dot com. Thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 12:26 PM
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maybe i didn't do that part now that u mention it. i might have taken the day /morning off or retried before the trek? will have to ask and see if hubby remembers. You know.. you CAN skip parts.. I mean.. of course one usually walks without considering doing that, but being a bit of a rebel.. I say, just go for it and when the going gets too tough for you.. call a taxi.

Really, I mean it. Don't worry about any of this. It is so easy to be taken care of if you do not want to continue walking to your next night's lodging. This part of the trail is not in the middle of nowhere or anything.

On those harder hike days do fewer kms. and rest more often.

Anyway, I am sure you will figure it all out and will be so pleasantly surprised at your success!

It'll be a wonderful vacation no matter what. Nice scenery. Good food.. no hustle/bustle.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 06:49 PM
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Hi, cruiseluv,

I have a couple of recommendations for places to stay. Though I usually stay in albergues, when the desire for clean sheets and a private bathroom gets too strong, I move out of the pilgrim stream and into a private place. Between O'Cebreiro and Santiago, here are places I've stayed in and liked:

In Samos: (don't know if you're taking this route from Triacastela or the one through San Xil)
I've stayed at both the Hostal Residencia a Veiga (a bit out of town) and the Hostal Victoria (in front of the monastery) and both are fine. Neither place rates high on the charm meter, however.

In Sarria: I've stayed at the Hotel Alfonso IX, which is clean but nondescript. Sarria has a lot of recent building activity, and I haven't walked this way for a while, so there is probably something better.

In Barbadelo, 5 km from Sarria, I've stayed at the Casa Nova da Rente. Very nice, old stone house. Lots of charm, but in the middle of nowhere.

In the tiny hamlet of Morgade, I HIGHLY recommend this place: The Casa Morgade http://www.casamorgade.com/
On my first camino in 2000,it was a tiny adjunct to a farmhouse, a room with 6 or 8 beds. Since then, it has mushroomed, and now has a rural hotel that is very comfortable. It's right on the camino, the door actually opens right onto the Camino, and sitting outside in the late afternoon in the middle of the "campo" is a wonderfully peaceful thing to do. http://www.casamorgade.com/

Eirexe: The pension Eirexe is very comfortable, nothing spectacular. http://www.turgalicia.es/sit/ficha_d...1040107&cidi=G There's a very sweet romanesqaue church in the village and it's a nice place for a stop.

In Melide, there's a very comfortable new hotel in an old stone building right across the street from the albergue, but I don't remember it's name. If you think you'll be spending a night in Melide, I'll try to find it, because Melide is not full of great albergue alternatives. The albergue is very big and clean (as of 2010 anyway), so the demand for alternatives isn't too great.

Arzua: I've stayed several times at the Hostal Residencia Teodora. It's very central, modern but nicely maintained, and the restaurant in the main floor is good. Arzua cheese is very good.

Santa Irene: I've stayed 3 or 4 times at the private albergue, and it's nice enough that I would recommend it to you. The evening meal is totally uninspired, but it's in a very nice place, the owner is very attentive, and there are clean sheets on the bed (and I assume they'll give you a blanket if you need one).

And finally in Santiago, I always stay at the Costa Vella, they are my friends now and I can't imagine staying anywhere else. Very well located.

Arranging lodging is the fun part, isn't it?
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 09:37 PM
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What great information. Maybe I will be back on this trail sooner than I thought!
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 10:31 PM
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Costa Vella looks wonderful!
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Costa Vella is wonderful. The outdoor garden is a heavenly calm place for breakfast or for a drink at any time of day or night. The hotel is run by a close knit family, and the owners are there (at least the second generation, in their 30s-40s) working day in and day out. They have opened two other hotels down the street, and if I don't make my reservation early enough, that's where I wind up (with breakfast privileges in the Costa Vella garden, of course!). The Altair is more modern, and the third (most recently opened) is the Moure, a vanguardist, hip, minimalist, sleek, place. Prices go up from oldest to newest.

wow, they've changed their website since I last looked, and it highlights the garden very nicely. http://costavella.com/

This is a very popular hotel, not a secret find of mine, so reservations in advance are essential.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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Great information Laurie, thanks! And regarding the route to Triacastela... which one you recommend, Samos or San Xil? I would like to see the Monastery so I guess its Samos the one I should take?

And add me as another fan of the Costa Vella!! My family and I stayed there in March 2009 and loved it. We were so lucky to have lovely weather so were able to sit in their garden in the afternoons to have a glass (or more!) of wine. My son would even bring his books and read there. I met the owner while staying there. He and the rest of the staff were fantastic, very warm and caring. I was thinking of maybe trying the Altair just to try something different. I didnt know they had opened a third one.

Lin, maybe we can plan for a Camino GTG for 2012!!??

Laurie,will you be doing a Camino in 2012?

PS Pls call me María.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 11:04 PM
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.."Lin, maybe we can plan for a Camino GTG for 2012!!??"

he he he .. now that would be fun!
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 04:34 AM
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Hi, Maria, (how odd after all these exchanges with cruiseluv!)

If you want to visit the Samos monastery, you are going to have to take that branch from Triacastela. The route via San Xil combines some not so nice highway walking with some extraordinary "green tunnel" walking through little hamlets, but you'll get plenty of that.

You know, I've been thinking about your plan to stay in nice casas rurales, pazos, etc on your camino, and it occurs to me that in many cases the nicest places are a km or two off the camino, so I won't know about them. But I do think the mundicamino website gives info on places that are close, so you might find some there. For instance, looking at the stage closes to Santiago, I saw one that is near Lavacolla, but a km off the camino. http://www.pazoxanxordo.com/ -- I've never stayed there but wow it looks very nice. On that same stretch, though, I do remember having coffee in a less elegant but nice casa rural that is directly on the camino. http://www.casadeamancio.com/

Either of those places would get you close enough to Santiago to make a morning walk in in time for the pilgrim's mass.

One last lodging comment -- many pilgrims have started staying at this place, which is in an old monastery. http://www.hsanmartinpinario.com/ It is actually right across the plaza from one of the cathedral's doors (the door that's to the left as you walk into the Plaza Obradoiro, through that little tunnel and come out in front of the parador if that makes sense). They have rooms for both pilgrims and non-pilgrims. Everyone I know loves it, but I have stuck with the Costa Vella just for old times sake.

I am planning a 2012 camino, but don't know my dates. I'm hoping to walk a crazy zig zag from Santander through the Picos de Europa down to Leon, then back up through the mountains to Oviedo, and then to Santiago from Oviedo on the Camino Primitivo. I have decided I should focus on mountain caminos and leave the flat ones like the Levante for my 70s.
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 06:37 PM
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Oh wow, your Camino sounds so much exciting than mine. I've been to the Picos area a couple of times , loved it.

That's why we would see so many people going in and out of the San Martin Pinario monastery! It's an interesting lodging option.

Yes, that Pazo Xan Xordo looks pretty nice. Frankly, if it was up to me I would take two weeks to walk from O'Cebreiro to Santiago, staying and hanging out at all these lovely pazos and casas rurales!
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Old Dec 28th, 2011, 03:11 PM
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Dear lin,

Thanks for sharing all this with us and congrats on your journey.

I hope to do this at some point. Several years ago I searched here on Fodor's and there were no threads about the Camino... Then Aduchamp shared from his wife's trip. So, I am happy to see we have some experienced pilgrims amongst us now.

I did spend 3 days walking the St. James Way (Jakobsweg) in Switzerland which is the Swiss section of the Camino. I also did a bit of the Way in Norway which I happened upon by accident. The Swiss portion is rather high elevations and brought up my acrophobia but I loved it. I was alone, and you can walk for a few hours at a time seeing barely anyone, but the trail leads you from village to village and with many charming little chapels all along the way. At one point I had some terrible blisters and in late afternoon a nun approached me and asked if I was a pilgrim. She took me to her cloisters where I was seen by a nurse who repaired my feet and for about 25 swiss francs had a lovely private room, hot shower, and large breakfast.

I don't know when I'll have time to do a longer trek, but reading threads like this keeps it on the top of my wish list.

gruezi
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Old Dec 28th, 2011, 03:31 PM
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you're welcome. It is nice to see so many people reading this. I am keeping note of lreynold's observations. I will definitely do this again soon.
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Old Dec 28th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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So, lincasanova, where are you thinking of walking this time? Ourense into Santiago on the Via de la Plata is a nice 100 km walk, but it also starts with a killer ascent.

And gruezi, since you mentioned the Way in Norway, I thought you might be interested in this peregrina's long walk from Trondheim to Santiago -- she was walking for more than a year and posted regularly to the forum I participate on: http://www.caminodesantiago.me/board...topic9259.html

Lots of beautiful pictures and pretty amazing stories. I can't even imagine walking for more than a year, though I would like to give it a try sometime (don't let my husband hear that!).
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Old Dec 28th, 2011, 11:08 PM
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I have to admit I was thinking of repeating some of the previous walk and staying on the trail. I have a recently widowed friend who I was hoping would come with but maybe I'll just start close to home!
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Old Dec 29th, 2011, 07:53 AM
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Lin, any chance you would do it in late June/ early July? We're thinking of walking , starting from O'Cebreiro maybe 6/27 or 6/28.
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Old Dec 29th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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hmmmmm.. that would be FUN! will think about it
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Old Jan 1st, 2012, 12:08 PM
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Maria, let me know when you decide on your arrival date into Santiago. I will probably be arriving sometime around July 3 or 4, and it would be fun to have a GTG! And you too, Lin, if you decide to go for it!
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Old Jan 1st, 2012, 01:36 PM
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Oh Laurie, that would be so great! As of now we're thinking of arriving on July 5th, and staying at least a couple of days. However, we haven't yet bought tickets or made reservations (have to get going on that!). I'll keep you posted. My e-mail is my screen name at aol dot com

Ok Lin, the pressure is on!
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