The official first stage on this leg is 32 kms in distance to Hospital de Bruma. However, we both thought it would be a good idea to split this stage in two. 19 kms into the first stage is the town of Carral – Sergude, which doesn’t have much – a municipal albergue, a cafe and a panaderia. I’ll talk about them later on.
We leave A Coruña as the sun rises, having walked to the Church of Santiago the evening before. Our day would start just shy of the bus station and we instantly saw our first waymark. Time for a selfie!
The one thing to note today is 95% of the walk today is on pavement so this is something to be prepared for. Another thing to be prepared for is the scale and size of A Coruña. It’s a long way before you can truly switch off. We found ourselves tuned in to the guidebook hoping that we were not taking a wrong turn.
The Avenida de Monelea is long but it is quiet. We pass Iglesia de Santa Maria de Oza, one of the more beautiful churches on this Camino. The Camino starts to rise as we move away from the sea but that rise is gently gradual.
Arriving at Portazgo can be tricky and you are required to negotiate a busy main road (N-550) before reaching the Centro Commerical Alcampo. Be careful as you walk along the side of the road.
O Burgo was different..we had reached a large park with a lake, seats, swans. There were people out walking, running, doing their daily business. It reminded me of the reservoir outside of Najera on the Camino Frances, peaceful and serene. We slowed our pace here and took our time, watching people come and go. There were no other pilgrims, just us. A quick refill of our water bottles. We came across the Bridge of Burgo, from medieval times.
On our way around the airport, you are making an ascent. We arrived at a number of small villages. In Almeiras, you reach the top of the hill. Here, there is an information board and a statue to Cabellero of Almeiras.
Passing through Alvedro and Culleredo, we stayed on quiet rural roads. The trail is well waymarked and the weather was perfect. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky – the opposite of the previous few days. There was hardly any traffic to contend with. However, my feet cried out for a bit of grass or trail to walk on!
The next few towns re-acquainted me with Saint Anthony. Now, that is not someone you would hear mentioned on the Camino but in Sigras de Abaixo, there is a shrine to the saint. Just in case you lose anything and need it found.
On the shrine it says, “si buscas milagros, mira” or “if you are looking for miracles, look!”. The church at Sigras was closed when we arrived but I always love a photo opportunity.
Up and up until we arrive at our albergue in Sergude. I was clearly enjoying the day but Ray could have done with less of the “up”. Before we arrive at the town, we discover a panaderia and buy something sweet to devour while waiting for the albergue to open. It opens at 1pm.
Just after 1pm, a flustered hospitalera ran in and apologised. We told her not to worry in broken Spanish. She had zero English. This albergue is brand new, it has 30 beds and is just perfect. I didn’t expect anyone else to be there and I was right. Myself and Ray were the only pilgrims there.
After a shower and washing the clothes, we went to the local cafe, Casa Adolfo where we were treated like royalty. The owner sat us down and brought us out a large plate of mixed salad, followed by a handsome meal. For €8 each. This is the Camino!
Back to the albergue to prepare for our next day on the Camino Ingles.