Thursday, 25 May 2017

Silleda to Santiago de Compestela 42kms

Silleda to Santiago de Compestela 42kms
Lovely clear blue sky at start and a nice shady walk most of the way which at the time was good as it was getting very warm. I obviously timed my walk to perfection as I did not see another peregrino until I got to Santiago! Stopped at Punte Ulla for a quick lunch which is where I stayed the night before entering Santiago last year. From about 15kms away from Santiago I could see, and hear, a huge thunder storm behind me. So I walked a bit faster and got to the cathedral just before the heavens opened! In fact just got my beer in my hand as the rain started. 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Rodeiro to Silleda 40kmd

Rodeiro to Silleda 40kms 
Rodeiro was a pleasant smallish place with a surprising number of restaurants and bars. Excellent meal in O Guerra with the best ever tarta Di Santiago I've had - home made. 10 euros for as much as you want to eat and drink! Another lovely walk today which was mostly extremely well marked. The stretch at the beginning to Penerbosa would be very muddy if there had been any rain. The route into Lalin was very good as well as it avoided the road as far as possible. Also it's a nice(ish) riverside walk out but with no arrows for 4km but you just follow the path. Unfortunately, it's all a bit like a Municipal park. Passed 2 Spanish peregrinos today on the Invierno and no dog problems. Fortunately, I got to A Laxe at 1300 and all the other peregrinos on the Sanabres must have gone to the albergue as I didn't see a single one all the way to Silleda. Got to see my favourite place on all my Caminos again which is the Punta Romana about 3kms after Prado. I would love to have a swim there but cannot see a safe way down!! Now in the Grand Albergue Silleda which is 10 euros for a private single room and has a good bar attached. Santiago de Compestela tomorrow!!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Chantada to Rodeiro 26kms

Chantada to Rodeiro 26kms
Yesterday Cafe Amedeo's was great. No food in the evening until 2100, but then menu la dia at 10 euros with lots of meat. Then they ask if you want more!
Temperature is climbing now. Got to the low 30s yesterday and it's mid 30s today. It may only be 26kms but that is one 600m climb and then a 500m descent. A beautiful clear day to start and a magnificent walk. The climb was easier than expected and I was up the top in 3 hrs. From the ermita the way down is very clearly marked, as is this complete section. The view from the top was as good as expected and as you descend I think the views are just as good. Lots of new mojons on the down section and a whole pile by the roadside waiting to be placed. There is an open bar (1300) in A Keira about 5 kms before Rodeiro and they have an Invierno sello! Very friendly. 
Staying in the Pension O Guerra which is excellent and it's a great restaurant as well. Lovely room for only 20 euros booked via Facebook which got an almost immediate response. Be aware though it's Restaurant O Guerra on Facebook not Pension. Off to Silleda tomorrow. 


Monday, 22 May 2017

MdL to Chantada 32kms

Monforte de Lemos to Chantida 31kms
Hotel was fine and had a good meal just down the road. The info in the guide is incorrect about the wine tasting as at least on Sundays it's a tour at 1830 and then A tour at 1930.
Another great walk today except for the dull straight road at the start to Vide. Markings to get out of the city are faint but ok. As mentioned in the guide there are a couple of places where you should be taken off road.  At A Vide the right turn is not signed as being the camino and the path that you can see appear impassable. Also just before Pineiro you now turn about 100m up the road from where the Camino used to turn off the road. This stretch is poorly marked. There were 3 small yappy dogs at Barxa but I just threw them a few doggy treats and they shut up. 
I was also Dive bombed by some aggressive swallows along this stretch!!

The route down to Belasar is not well marked but keep heading down and you can't get lost. The views here are spectacular. Got to the bottom and as usual the bar closed at 1130. I think it's a significant indication of the poor state of the Spanish economy given that in the beautiful setting of Belasar there are still numerous empty and abandoned houses. The climb up from there is tough and for those less inclined(!) there is the road option. Many of the off road routes today were still boggy in places even though there has been little rain. If it was wet they would be very awkward. Now in Chantada at Hotel Mogay which is a good place. Very clean and smart. I paid 26 euros as a peregrino which is a significant discount to their 44 euro price on Booking.com. 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Quiroga to Monforte de Lemos 35kms

 The albergue in Quiroga is massive and as others have mentioned can be busy with lots of school visits. That was true today, a Saturday, but the lady at the check in desk was aware of the problem and gave me a dormitory well away from the children. I was in a room with 16 beds all to myself!  Limited hot water and the water is rust coloured but otherwise fine. No food apparently to be had this evening in what is quite a large town! La Dia picnic again!
Quiroga to Monforte de Lemos 35kms was a lovely walk with a few hills but nothing too strenuous, reminded me of the gentle slops up Vesuvius when I used to do the annual race. Lots of woodland and a great walk along a stream from O Pobra. Then a good green lane walk into town. Stopped at A Pobra for a coffee, luckily one cafe was open at 1100 on a Sunday. No food, not even tostadas! Still no other peregrinos seen and there were a group of 5 dogs just before Barxa rowdy but no problem. Staying in the Hostal Puente Romano with a view straight onto the roman bridge and a lot of noisy geese! Off to Chantada tomorrow. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

A Rua to Quiroga 26kms

A Rua to Quiroga 26kms. 
First a bit about food in A Rua. For such a big place it's not easy to find a somewhere for a meal.  Bar Taxi had food but not until late and were not very welcoming. Meson O Tono is shut down and bar Pepa has changed hands. I ate in O Retorno at the bottom of the road from the albergue. Only raciones but truly excellent quality and the owner was clearly aware and interested in the Invierno. 

Lovely simple walk today with very clear route markings. There are a couple of alternative routes shown on the way (photos attached) that I didn't take as I was not sure where they would take me! Also the route to Soldon  now seems to take a slightly different route (photo of Camino Invierno sign) where instead of following the road it goes off right and heads up a steep hill and then joins a minor road. I walked it but couldn't see any significant gain. Route was very well marked all the way until the centre of Caspedro where a junction where you turn right is not marked and in fact I saw no more directions until I reached the river at Quiroga. For those desperate there is a bar just before you cross the river into Quiroga! Still no other peregrinos (I'm told there are 4 a day ahead) and no dog problems. Off to Monforte de Lemos tomorrow. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

PdDF to A Rua about 32 kms

Firstly, I would like to confirm that the menu la dia at Hostel Torre is excellent and only 10 euros. Also the 2 ladies serving at the bar were fabulous- very helpful, all smiles and laughing in a nice way at my Spanish ( they were both fluent English speakers). 
PdDF to a Rua about 31kms. A lovely walk today and just followed the mojons and yellow arrows the whole way. In fact since my earlier problem near the start yesterday the way has been marked superbly. The scenery is as good as I hoped and the places you pass through are clearly trying really hard to encourage peregrinos. As usual, once you enter Galacia the standards rise a little. At O Barco I kept to the river side path as far as possible and it is a lovely place. It would be a pity to avoid it. As an extra benefit I managed to replace my old leaking poncho with a new one for 13 euros. Same as the previous one ( without leaks) that folds up into a small pouch that has a belt to strap it to your waist. Photo of the industrial shop is attached. The way turns left about 1km before Vilamartin and keeps close to the river again which is far better than going along the road. No trouble with dogs so far. Off to Quiroga tomorrow.