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Villafranca Del Bierzo To O'cebreiro

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Greg Canning, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi all

    another question for you experienced guys. Both the Brierly guide and the Ramis guide propose walking the 29kms from Villafranca del Bierzo to O'Cebreiro as one stage. Given the ups and dows of this stage and the possibility to take the Dragonte route have you any suggestions as to whether it is really feasible or should be done in two parts? Also any experiences of what the weather might be like in early April??

    Thanks

    Greg
     
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  2. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Greg, In planning for our first camino, I saw the Brierley suggested stage and said there's no way we'd hike all the way to O'Cebreiro from Villafranca. In 2015 we hiked from Villafranca del Bierzo to La Faba and stayed at the small German Confraternity albergue there. We liked the place - friendly staff and cozy bunkroom, bathrooms and nice kitchen / lounge area. Small grocery in town, and two bar/restaurante. One is a vegetarian place and quite fun and unique. We were glad to rest overnight, then walked the following day from La Faba all the way to Triacastela - which in hindsight was too ambitious.

    For our recent camino, we stayed at the parador in Villafranca and hiked to Las Herrerias which was 21 kms. Las Herrerias is just at the base of the long climb up to La Faba. We stayed at Casa Polin and loved the place. The next morning we were rested and ready for the long climb the next morning. We hiked to La Faba in the dark, had breakfast at the vegetarian place, then continued our climb to O'Cebreiro. We had a cafe con leche there, then continued our hike all the way to Fonfria, where we spent the night.

    I know that some follow Brierley's guide stage by stage, but there's no way I'd walk from Villafranca to O'Cebreiro in one day. For our third camino, we're tentatively planning on ending a stage at Ambasmestas, then hiking the next day to O'Cebreiro and spending the night there. The reviews on albergues and hostels in O'Cebreiro are very mixed. If anyone has had a good experience staying there in a private room for two with or without a private bath, I'll welcome your comments.

    Bob
     
  3. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Bob

    We’ve already decided to take your advice and will stay in Las Herreiras. The next day is our last. We will aim for Tricastela but see how the day goes. The plan is to bus or taxi into Sarria that evening and take a train back to Madrid the following morning.

    Thanks again

    Greg
     
  4. Jose

    Jose Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree about this route. AND this area is SO beautiful. Actually, I really came to the point of avoiding, if possible, the Brierly stops and enjoyed everything in between. I actually went from Cacabelos to Ambasmestas and then on up to O Cebreiro and spent the night there. I just wanted to experience the place at night! It was misting, freezing, windy and wonderful. I loved being up there that night and took a private room which was great. The next day I went from there on to Samos to the great monastery. Amazing and beautiful, but a VERY long day.
     
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  5. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Jose - I am starting to plan Camino 3 for my wife and myself. My plan includes stages with destination overnights in Cacabelos, Ambasmestas, O'Cebreiro, and Samos - so it appears we are kindred spirits ! You mention that you stayed in a private room in O Cebreiro and had a good experience. Would you mind sharing with me where you stayed? I've read several reviews on Gronze.com and most were mixed. Gracias ! Bob
     
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  6. Jose

    Jose Well-Known Member

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    Ah, will have to look up the names of the places. In Ambasmestas I stayed in the Russian fisherman’s place just before town. He raises his own trout and the food was included which was superb, by the way. Private room. Super. In O Cebreiro it was a room in the main hotel where the food is very good. The room was in an house across the little plaza and it was totally fine. I loved the place I stayed in Samos and, frankly, had the BEST Caldo Gallego I had in all of Galicia including in some very fancy places along the way. Now the stretch from O Cebreiro to Samos is a really reach. Well, for me it was, but I was determined to experience Samos and will never forget the magical path through the ancient Chestnut forests to get there. I will look for the names of these places, all of which I would highly recommend. This entire stretch was just about my favorite part of the Camino.
     
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  7. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Ah Jose

    Samos sounds wonderful but will be just that bit too far for this time but we will definitely visit on our next, and final stretch to Santiago.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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