Camino de Invierno
→ 7.10 → Alvaredos → 2.90km → Montefurado (invierno)
Small town just beyond the provincial border of Ourense and Lugo. Keep a sharp lookout for the waymarks, they lead back to the LU-933. The Lugo line is where the Ribeira Sacra, or Holy River Bank, region begins. Some say the holiness came from the many monasteries along the riverbanks; Ramón Pérez cites others who believe the oak trees so abundant here were sacred to Celtic tribes, and later speakers confused roble (oak) with ribeira (river bank).
Lovers of Galician rural culture and panoramic vistas will enjoy the long, switchback ascent on a medieval cart track that commences about 2 km beyond Alvaredos and then descends to the ancient gristmill at the valley bottom. There an arroyo meets the railroad track and the río Sil. Right before entering Montefurado, in a grange called El Molino, the 92-year old Casimiro lives. He has lived here all his life, having operated the mill to grind all the area’s grain until grain production stopped in the 1960s. He is a spinner of tales and purveyor of homemade orujo – a true Camino character. In summer of 2019, he said that he very much enjoys visits with pilgrims and issued a standing invitation to knock on his door.
Follow along the river, keeping an eye out for the many bee-keeping complexes that have populated this valley for two millennia. Around a bend in the road the Camino enters Montefurado.