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lreynold1 Jan 1st, 2009 05:56 AM

Question about Camino de Invierno for Ribeirasacra
I have read that the Spanish and regional governments have decided to officially recognize the "Camino de Invierno", a lower elevation alternative that leaves the popular Camino Frances at Ponferrada and then joins up with the Via de la Plata near Lalin, and from there into Santiago.

Since this is your neck of the woods, Ribeirasacra, I wonder whether you have any information about marking and/or accommodation for peregrinos along the route. I assume it passes (or will pass) very close to your home.

thanks! Laurie

Robert2533 Jan 3rd, 2009 12:03 AM

In addition to what you have already see, you might want to check out the following:

lreynold1 Jan 3rd, 2009 04:40 AM

Thanks Robert,
The forum you've linked to is a great site for anyone interested in walking on any one of the numerous Caminos de Santiago. It's a large and very active bunch of people, who are extremely helpful with anything related to the Camino. I thought that Ribeirasacra, or someone actually living in that area, might have more recent "on the ground" information. I sometimes find that the press reports reflect aspirations more than reality when it comes to waymarking on the Camino.

I have no doubt this would become a popular alternative if the infrastructure gets developed, because the Camino Frances is reaching the breaking point. I spent three days in the area a few years back, and the Sil River Valley is just beautiful. Laurie

ribeirasacra Jan 3rd, 2009 05:31 AM

Hi Laurie
Yes the route passes near us, about 3 km away from us. The nearest point that is recognisable on maps is Diomondi. The path then goes down the hillside following the old Roman road. To the village of Belesar.
The route has been established for a while now, but not officially, as they had to verify the historical information before saying it is an official route. It has seems to have gone unnoticed that there are few accommodation establishments along the route. For instance the section between Monforte and Chantada I cannot recall seeing any hotels or Casa Rurals along or say within 0.5 km from the footpath. The strange thing is the Camino’s website seems to suggest that the route takes you near to the village of Panton. But I would not stay at the “Balneario” as it is a four star hotel with prices to match. nice; but maybe not what a walker wants to spend their money on.

I thing for the time being it is perhaps best to do your own research using the maps they have provided on line, the official accommodation website of Turgalicia. (Here is the link to all accommodations in the province of Lugo then click on the area map and do some more searching.

If you want some personal help by all means send me a private email via my website and mark it clearly as to who you are as it may get binned with the spam!

The Camino website is quite badly written and a lot of links and information is not there.


PS I think I am right in say that you have a good knowledge Spanish so here are some links from our local newspaper giving some more news about the route.
Notice of the official recognition.

I a few days time I will pop into the tourist information in Monforte to see what information they have.

ribeirasacra Jan 9th, 2009 09:28 AM

Sorry it has been some time since I wrote last.

Eventually got to the tourist office in Monforte de Lemos. The man in the office is always friendly and helpful, but he said he knew about the maps and they had been promised but he had not seen anything of them. I will try to go to other places of tourist information around here. But I do not know when I shall be passing them.

Sorry to have drawn a blank on this, but as it passes so near the house I am interested to find out more too.


lreynold1 Jan 13th, 2009 07:57 AM

Thanks, Ribeirasacra. I'll let you know if my camino group comes up with any more information, but most people are assuming that it will take a while before things really get going. But with the tremendous saturation of the Camino Frances, it just seems like other alternatives will inevitably gain in popularity.

More than 125,000 people received their "compostelas" this year, which just boggles the mind. That translates into about 350 a DAY!! (and of course, the numbers are highly concentrated in certain months). I shudder to think what 2010, the next Holy year, will bring.

Anyway, thanks Ribeirasacra, and I hope some of that foot traffic goes your way! Laurie

ribeirasacra Jan 13th, 2009 10:37 AM

I also went to tow other tourist information points on Monday, Typical for Monday they were closed. But I am determined to find out more too.

lreynold1 Jan 14th, 2009 04:09 AM

Hi, ribeirasacra,
Thanks for the info. I just read this Voz de Galicia report that says the way will be officially "open" (whatever that means) in 2010. I assume they will have the infrastructure up and running by then, but the article doesn't mention where they plan to put albergues or anything like that.

This article says the starting point will be Molinaseca rather than Ponferrada, but in either case, it'd be a very nice alternative to those crushing crowds that materialize at Sarria and onwards.


ribeirasacra Jan 14th, 2009 09:36 AM

Thanks for the article. I found the website for INTUR. The exhibition was back in November 2008.
Looking at the web site I cannot find anything about the Camino de Invierno. However I did find a list of exhibitors and one of them was Xacobeo, but again the website draws a blank about any information.
Maybe we will hear more in the coming year. Things take time!
In case you did not know the Voz de Galician always gives the quotes of a person in Galician, even though they may not have spoken in the language.

ribeirasacra Jan 16th, 2009 05:52 AM

More updates…
Today we received the usually bi monthly magazine from Turgalicia. It is always in Galician so it is of little use to vacationers from either other parts of Spain or the rest of the world. However they do have a small article on the Camino de Inverno.
Look at Turgalicia’s website and found some information.
Here under the heading “actualidadsumario the 3rd heading down says they are going to promote it. There is a link to a basing map, the same as that in the magazine article.
This page has a PDF file with a little more information, but nothing concrete.


ribeirasacra Feb 13th, 2009 04:31 AM

another update. It seems that the association is walking another section. The newspaper article also gives information about another website. There are phone numbers too, but only to inscribe on the organised route next Sunday.

lreynold1 Feb 16th, 2009 02:17 AM

Thanks for this update, ribeirasacra. Looks like the Lugo Camino Association is quite active. The stage that they are going to walk is actually on the Camino del Norte, which runs in spain from Irun along the coast to Ribadeo, then towards Santiago going through Mondonedo, Miraz, Sobrado dos Monxes,etc. What I would give to live in a place with such glorious walking opportunities on a regular basis. Are you tempted? Laurie

ribeirasacra Feb 27th, 2009 06:07 AM

Sorry about the lack of reply but we had to run back to The Netherlands for family matters.
Am I tempted? Yes and no. I have driven both the French route and in the last two days the Northern route. I know that driving is not the same but when I see how busy some of the roads you have to walk along are it is a bit disappointing.

Can I do the best bits i.e. those sections away from the main roads? Still I am lucky enough to be able to walk the section of the Invierno route near to my house and a bit more.

ribeirasacra Mar 5th, 2009 08:13 AM

Finally found some information on paper. It is basically the same as the popup when you view the Camino de Invierno website. However when you chick on the popup the following link does not work.
Information in both Castelaño and Gallego. A route map and information as to locations of interest. I have spotted some errors in what they think is near to the route. Plus there is NO INFORMATION on where to sleep.
At the moment it does not sound so organised.

lreynold1 Mar 12th, 2009 03:49 AM

Hi, ribeirasacra,

The website has a few updates as well. They linked to a message on a Spanish website that lists stages.,42073 This posting makes it sound, like you say, very haphazard and unorganized.

and I don't know whether you saw this notice, which talks about even building some pilgrims albergues on the route:

Until it's marked with the traditional yellow arrows, I doubt it will attract many long-distance walkers. I had to chuckle when I read the first posting I pasted in up above, when it describes three different options for one 17 km stretch.

As far as road walking, I have found that whoever decides on the route in in Galicia tends to do a great job of getting walkers off the roads. Sure there tend to be bits on pavement, but usually in Galicia is't very minor roads. I've now walked four or five of the different routes into Santiago and the Galician parts are usually very well organized and well placed. My favorite is probably the Oviedo-Santiago Camino Primitivo, I'm not sure where the Galician part starts (somewhere after Tineo, I think), but there is very little road walking and it is rural Spain at its most bucolic, IMO.

Since the Camino is such a huge revenue source for Galicia, I'd be surprised if the Camino de Invierno didn't shape up quickly and get organized. And I'm looking forward to walking it as soon as it is!


p.s., I certainly don't presume to know your business better than you do, but what I have seen in many places on the different Caminos are ads in bars right on the Camino with information about private accommodations for which the owners will come to the bar and pick up the walkers at the end of the day, feed them and give them a place to sleep, and deposit them back on the Camino in the morning. This can also be highlighted on your website. I remember you said you were 3 km from the route, that should make you a very attractive alternative for many of us who enjoy a private room with real sheets every now and then. (maybe I'll be one of the first to give it a try!)


lreynold1 Mar 12th, 2009 03:56 AM

Sorry, I was looking back at the long list of messages on thie topic in my "other" forum, and I thought there was a lot of information there you might be interested in: check this out:

Robert2533 posted a link to the thread earlier in this post, but there has been a lot of activity on the topic since then, so I just wanted to bring it to people's attention again.


ribeirasacra Mar 12th, 2009 06:03 AM

Thanks for all the information. The other day I had to wait for a business in Monforte to open, seeing it was only an hour I had lunch in the campo. I parked up near to the Camino to the west of the town. Here, like near me I have found that the way is marked with some new columns and the direction shown using a graphic of the “normal” shell symbol. Plus the odd yellow painted arrow.
I have several ideas about publicity but I never thought about bars. I have to do some investigation work, which will not be a problem! To be honest I have not even seen the route marked in Monforte so I do not even know which bars are near by. I thought I would have to pick up walkers as I do live a few km away from the nearest point. But that is no problem.
Have you walked the Via de la Plata? I love the section from Ourense to nearly into Lalin. No main roads here. (In hindsight perhaps I was being a little unfair saying there is a lot of routing via main roads)


lreynold1 Mar 12th, 2009 09:01 AM

Hi, Ian,

I am going to be walking the Via de la Plata starting in Sevilla in April, probably the week after Easter. I am so excited, and realize how very lucky I am to be able to do this.

I have been told that there are two options between Guindina (sorry I don't have a tilde) and Ourense. The choice is between the northern route, which is more isolated via Laza, Vilar de Barrio and Xunqueira de Ambía or the southern one through Verín, Xinzo de Lima and Allariz which includes more monuments to visit. The consensus on the pilgrims boards is that the northern route is prettier. do you know those two routes?

So I'll be walking through Lalin in the next few months! Can't wait.


ribeirasacra Mar 12th, 2009 12:16 PM

To be honest I have never been to Verin, but I have seen the lie of the land to the north. Just before Xinzo de Limia the land is flat but there are many interesting things to see. I personally love Allariz. It is a well preserved historical town. I love the Armand biscuit/cake things that are made there.
I do not know anything about the so called Northern route. I lot of help I know!
This guy has just walked the route, and is presently walking to SdC via another route. He finished the Via de Plata in December 2008, so read the entries before then.

After Ourense you only have one choice and you will go through Oseira. A monastery which has a great atmosphere about it. Much better than Samos. It is only something like 20 mins drive away!
And you may have the opportunity to sleep there. But beware of Jesus as a picture hangs over one of the bunk beds. When you see it you will know what I mean.
Take my phone number and maybe we can meet up for a coffee or something when you this way.
Lalin, what a bummer!
I have also seen several route maps that seem to suggest the heads for Gijón!

PS when I last wrote I was trying to describe the way makers here is one, just like on all the other Caminos.

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