I have 3 more towns to talk about before we move on. These will be more familiar to those who have walked the final 100 km. All are based in Galicia and remind me of Ireland. That said, I haven’t walked these three towns since my first Camino, 2011. That will be rectified next year!
The first thing you will notice as you approach Portomarin is the large bridge over the Mino river, following the climb of a number of steep steps into the village. But if you look close enough, you may see another bridge underneath. The reason for this is in the 1960s the Miño River was dammed to create the Belesar reservoir, putting the old village of Portomarín underwater. The most historic buildings of the town were moved brick by brick and reconstructed in a new town, including its church – La Iglesia de San Juan in the main plaza. In the seasons when the dam is at low level, the remains of ancient buildings, the waterfront and the old bridge are still visible. Also, if you look close enough at the church, you will see numbers placed on the bricks, to ensure each brick is put back together! I walked through this town in 2011 and was fascinated by the history. There are no shortage of accommodation in Portomarin (Gronze).
Palas de Rei (map)
Some 25 km after Portomarin and 70 km from Santiago, we arrive at Palas de Rei. It is a major stop-off point for pilgrims with plenty of facilities, albergues and hotels (Gronze). The town is of pre-Roman origins and it was important in assisting pilgrims during the Middle Ages. At this point, you are only three days from Santiago.
O Pedrouzo (map)
20 km from Santiago, we arrive at O Pedrouzo. The Caminos de Norte, Primitivo and Frances all pass through this town, so it can be a little busy during the summer months. Never-the-less, there is no shortage for accommodation (Gronze) and facilities. O Pedrouzo is the capital of the municipality of O Pino and has close to 600 people living in this town. This is unofficially the penultimate stop on the Camino Frances but it is possible to stay in two other towns beyond here should you want to make your final day a little shorter.