Camino 2018 – Day 6 – Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis

May 12th, 2018 – Day 6
Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis

After heavy rains during the night, we feared the worst. But the skies cleared once we left the Slow City Hostel in Pontevedra. It’s a really nice place by the way. We kept our rain gear at hand, just in case. Today we walked over rolling hills, through woods and past small towns. There were lots of chances to rehydrate also.

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Leaving Pontevedra, you pass the River Lerez and its ancient bridge. After leaving town we made a gradual climb up to 150 meters above sea level.  The walk was a perfect balance of challenge and calm.  We saw very few pilgrims our first 2-3 hours, and the path varied from shaded and wooded through small vineyards to hard surfaces. Later on in the day, we met pilgrims from the UK, Poland, Brazil, and Spain. We arrived in Caldas, an old Roman town, early, so we found the nearest pizzeria and had some lunch. I was really impressed by a mural that I saw as I entered the town. Nice! Two more days to Santiago!

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Camino 2018 – Day 4 – Vigo to Redondela

May 10th, 2018 – Day 4
Vigo to Redondela

Another short day, 16km to be exact, but what a day for it. The sun was out from the off and there was no forecast of rain for the day. We left Hostal Real before 8am after some breakfast and made for the coast. We were sticking to the Senda Littoral but not for long. Today would be the day we would join the main Camino Portuguese. I was looking forward to it.

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We said goodbye to the coast for the time being and made way inland. We climb a while and pause to look back with some satisfaction. There is the port of Vigo behind us – ahead of us is Redondela. As we continue we climb a particularly steep hill. I keep my eyes peeled for other pilgrims – this is the main Portuguese Way, isn’t it??

We follow the Camino into the forest where we meet pilgrims from Ireland, from the USA, from Portugal, and from Italy. After 16 kilometres we arrived at the plaza in Redondela and see many pilgrims sitting out in the sun. It is just before midday. It has been an enjoyable day and I look forward to walking into Pontevedra tomorrow.

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Albergues I stayed in – Camino Finisterre 2016

I feel that I need to mention the albergues that I stayed in on my recent Camino. All in all, I really enjoyed them. All were private albergues at a reasonable cost, and the owners went out of their way to assist anyone staying there.

September 1st & 7th – Hospederia San Martin Pinario (Website / Google Maps / Gronze)

20160908_142210A great place to start or finish your Camino while in Santiago. It is located right beside the archway way before the Praza da Obradoiro. Bed and Breakfast costs €23 and rooms can be reserved by emailing reservas@sanmartinpinario.eu. Ensure that you email as their on-line booking form is only for more expensive tourist accommodation. I will definitely stay there again the next time I return to Santiago.

 

 

 

September 2nd – Albergue Alecrin, Negreira (Website / Google Maps / Gronze)

alecrinAlbergue Alecrin was the first albergue I came across on entering Negreira. I needed to rest so I was glad to see it. It’s a fabulous little place with 40 bunks. It is advertised for €12 but the owner charged me €10 for some reason. It was clean but filled up quickly. There is a another room available should it be needed. The kitchen is well equipped but there are many bars and cafes in town to eat out. It has air conditioning also, which was heaven!

September 3rd – Albergue Casa Pepa, Santa Marina (Website / Google Maps / Gronze)

marina-pepa-1A great albergue that I would recommend 100%. It is family owned and serve delicious food. A bunk costs €12 and the owners will do what they can if you need anything. The village however is just that..a village, and has no amenities. If you are looking for a shop, it is best walking further to Olvieroa. If you can’t make it that far, like I couldn’t, then you should stop off here.

 

September 4th – Albergue Bar O Logoso, O Logoso (Website/ Google Maps / Gronze)

logoso-logoso-1Quite possibly the only building in O Logoso – once you leave you have left the village. Albergue Bar O Logoso is another family-run albergue and is highly recommended. I found it clean, it had all the facilities and the food was delicious. The family don’t have a great understanding of English however, and there were a number of communication problems when I was there, but hey! it is there home country. A bunk cost €12 and rooms were ready and cleaned by 11am when I wanted to check in.

September 5th – Hotel Playa Langosteira, Escaselas (Website / Google Maps / Gronze)

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Walking from O Logoso in 35c degree heat took me to my limit and I needed an evening of comfort to get me back to normal. Therefore, my daily budget was thrown out the window and I checked into the pilgrim-fancy Playa Langosteira. For €35, I was treated to a bed, air-con, an amazing sleep and a front row seat of the sun rising the next morning. This place was perfect but I feel I have broken cardinal rule number 1 in the pilgrim’s book of ethics! 🙂 Anyway, onwards to Finisterre.

September 6th – Albergue Cabo da Villa, Finisterre (Website / Google Maps / Gronze)

fisterra-cabo-1One of the best albergues I have stayed in. The owners are fantastic and the cost of €12 is a steal. It has all facilities, and it is fully reservable if you prefer that. It is the 2nd albergue as you walk into the town. Make sure you walk up to the Cabo to watch the sun set at the end of the day.

 

 

St. James’ Day & Fogos do Apostolo

The annual Feast of Saint James takes places today in Santiago de Compostela and across Spain. It is also a public holiday in Galicia. Whenever you visit Santiago, you can be sure to see many pilgrims who have walked on the Camino de Santiago arrive into the city to join in the celebrations.

The two weeks leading up to “El Día de Santiago” (Santiago Day or St. James’ Day) are full of art exhibitions, drama productions, indoor and outdoor concerts of all kinds of music and street entertainment – both professional and amateur. Almost every night there will be something going on in the major squares, Plaza del Obradoiro and Plaza de la Quintana. On the evening of 24th July, in the Plaza del Obradoiro, are the Fuegos del Apóstol (or Fogos do Apostol in Galician) –  that sees the side of the cathedral illuminated at midnight by fireworks.

The feast day itself includes many official celebrations the most important of which is an official mass which is attended by representatives of the Galician government and often by members of the Spanish Royal family.

Unfortunately, I did not watch the fireworks display on TV Galicia last night but I watched it in the last few hours. It is pretty impressive. You can watch it here.

Cathedral Santiago

Camino Ingles – Everything you need to know

I’ve been thinking of this route for quite a while now and the more I think of it, the more I can see myself booking flights and slinging on my backpack for a return to Spain.

Chapter 1. Verse 1. in Camino de Santiago Addiction.

It won’t go away I’m afraid. Hmm.

So what is the Camino Ingles?

Well, it is a much shorter route than the well established and well structured Camino Frances and weighs in at 110km. It starts at Ferrol and ends in Santiago. It is perfect for those who don’t have the time to walk a full Camino (ahem..me!) and also would like a compostela at the end of it. The Ingles is very different to the Frances as there is a certain degree of planning that you need to make before you leave. There aren’t as many albergues; you don’t pass as many towns; there aren’t as many bars for refreshments, so all these things need to be taken into account before you start out each day. Before starting my last Camino from Belorado, I had no idea where I was going to end my first day, however, I, more or less, know where I will stop for the entire Camino Ingles at this stage. So here goes nothing….

Day 1 – Dublin to Santiago – Bus to Ferrol.
Day 2 – Ferrol – Pontedeume – 19km – Albergue de peregrinos de Pontedeume
Day 3 – Pontedeume – Betanzos – 20km – Albergue de peregrinos de Betanzos
Day 4 – Betanzos – Bruma – 27km – ??
Day 5 – Bruma – Siguiera – 24km – ??
Day 6 – Siguiera – Santiago – 17km – ??
Day 7 – Finistere Day 1
Day 8 – Finistere Day 2
Day 9 – Finistere Day 3
Day 10 – Return to Santiago
Day 11 – Santiago to Dublin

Oh, as you might see, I would like to include the Camino Finistere as I haven’t walked this section before. So Santiago won’t be the end of this Camino for me (insert happy smiley face!!). I have no idea on dates just yet..it could be May, it could be September, it may well be in 2017, all I know is this will be my next Camino!

So what do you need to know about the Camino Ingles (English Way)?

The Camino Inglés or English Way was taken by pilgrims coming from Northern Europe. Ferrol used to be a very important trading route. This Way has two starting points: A Coruña and Ferrol. A Coruna is a larger town to Ferrol but is situated less than 100km from Santiago, so if you walk from there, you would not be entitled to a compostela.

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On the first few days, you pass through the coastal towns of Pontedeume and Betanzos, which will be a culture shock to those who have only walked the Camino Frances. The second part of the walk heads inland, and takes the pilgrim across rural landscapes of Galicia heading South towards Santiago de Compostela. All in all, the walk takes 5 days at the most, but you can walk it in 4 at a stretch.

Where can you get details on accommodation?

Full details can be found on www.gronze.com. Also, make sure you purchase Johnnie Walker’s printed guide from the CSJ site.

Any internet sources?

There is plenty of information online and plenty of previous pilgrims who have walked this route. I would encourage you to look at the below sites if you are considering walking this route.

What is the terrain like?

This is Galicia. It will be tricky and there are many ascents and descents to consider. However, the Camino Inglés is very well waymarked and you do not need a detailed map to make your way to Santiago. If you have good training behind you, and can carry a backpack, you will do fine. Maps of sections of the route are provided in the guide above. Mundicamino.com provide great profiles of each stage.

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Anyway, that’s all for now. More news on the Ingles will be posted soon.

Weekend Watch #19 – Camino Invierno

I will most certainly be walking this route soon. The Camino Invierno was recently made an official route to Santiago (news in Spanish) with the aim of relieving the pressure on the Camino Frances from Ponferrada. It is 261km long and runs underneath the Camino Frances. If you were to walk it now, the chances are you would be walking alone for the majority of the day. The only accommodation available are pensions and it can be expensive as there are no municipal albergues open just yet. In time, and when the numbers of pilgrims increase, albergues will open also.

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The below video has been recently uploaded to YouTube and shows many photos of the Invierno.