A Coruña

The next part of my Celtic Camino was to begin in A Coruña , a sea port in Northern Galicia and one of the two traditional starting points for the Camino Inglés or English Camino , the other being nearby Ferrol. The Camino Inglés was the first maritime route to Santiago de Compostela and a large number of pilgrims from Northern Europe took the journey to the ports of Ferrol and A Coruña between 12th and 15th centuries. From there they walked to Santiago. These ships departed from ports in the South of England such as Plymouth, Southampton and Winchelsea , hence the name the English Way.

Here is an interesting blogpost about a 15th C Irish pilgrim from Waterford , James Rice , who made a pilgrimage to Santiago in 1473 and then again in 1483. As Waterford is a port he is very likely to have travelled by boat to Coruña and from there on foot to Santiago. An English pilgrim named William Wey , a fellow of Eton College , made a Pilgrimage to Santiago in 1476, sailing from Plymouth to Coruña , and recorded his journey in a book ” The Itineries of William Wey ” , now held in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Continue reading “A Coruña”

Primitivo day 13 – Lavacolla to Santiago de Compostela – 12km

I felt well rested after a good sleep in the hotel in Lavacolla. There was a big party of Americans at breakfast who were doing the last part of the Camino in stages , being dropped off by coach and walking short stages accompanied by a Spanish guide.

It was a cool overcast morning and I quickly arrived at Monte de Gozo ( Hill of Joy ) . This is 4.5km from Santiago and is the place where pilgrims get their first views of the three spires of the Cathedral in Santiago . Tradition has it that medieval pilgrims would ” cry out in rapture ” at finally seeing their destination. Pope John Paul II visited the hill in 1989 and there is a large sculpture there that commemorates the event.

Continue reading “Primitivo day 13 – Lavacolla to Santiago de Compostela – 12km”

Primitivo Days 11 and 12 – Ferreira to Boente 25.7m , Boente to Lavacolla 34.6km

I enjoyed my stay in the Albergue in Ferreira. It was a rustic place with a friendly owner who served a communal dinner of seafood paella. I sat with Julian and an English lad named Edmund who had just started his walk at Lugo the previous day. He is a Cambridge educated scientist who is now working on developing new vaccines for HIV and Ebola at The Jenner Institute in Oxford. He’s another addict as this is his 5th different Camino.

Continue reading “Primitivo Days 11 and 12 – Ferreira to Boente 25.7m , Boente to Lavacolla 34.6km”

Primitivo Days 9 and 10 –  Cadava Baleira to Lugo 30.5km , Lugo to Ferreira 25.7km

A symphony of snoring , dominated by the Bavarian bass section , would be an apt description of the nocturnal experience in the Cadavo albergue. For once I wasn’t the main culprit as I don’t think I slept more than an hour or so. First thing in the morning I made the decision to book into a hotel in Lugo to catch up on sleep.

Continue reading “Primitivo Days 9 and 10 –  Cadava Baleira to Lugo 30.5km , Lugo to Ferreira 25.7km”

Primitivo Days 7 and 8 – Castro to Fonsagrada 21.2km , Fonsagrada to Cadavo Baleira 24.1km 

I had a decent sleep in Castro in our room which contained just 2 bunks. On waking I greeted the bleary eyed young Spanish girl in the bunk opposite with a cheery ” Buenos Dias ” . I asked if she had slept well and she made a gesture indicating that she hadn’t . Mea culpa……..

There was a lot of foot care going on first thing this morning as the long descent yesterday had taken it’s toll . Nearly everyone had developed blisters , myself included. The nail on my right big toe looks like it’s done for too. A mobile podiatrist would make a killing on the Camino !

It was a beautiful morning’s walk , the mist taking until late morning to clear and providing some great photo opportunities as we ascended to a windmill lined ridge

Continue reading “Primitivo Days 7 and 8 – Castro to Fonsagrada 21.2km , Fonsagrada to Cadavo Baleira 24.1km “

Primitivo Days 5 and 6 – Campiello to Berducedo 31km , Berducedo to Castro 24.9km 

I didn’t sleep much in the Albergue in Campiello . You can guess why but I’m not blameless when it comes to snoring as I have been told in no uncertain terms already on this trip. Day 5 day turned out to be overcast and much cooler so it was ideal for walking . The Camino split after a few kilometres and there were two route options , a tough one named the ” Hopitales ” route and another lower level option. I chose to take the Hospitales route which led into the Fonfaraon mountain range away from civilisation for most of the day. It is considered the most strenuous but also one of the most beautiful of the Spanish sections of The Way. It took us along a high mountain ridge and past the ruins of three former pilgrim hospitals . It was a fantastic walk though the mist at the high levels obscured the views. There were a number of wild horses up there grazing above the tree line.

Continue reading “Primitivo Days 5 and 6 – Campiello to Berducedo 31km , Berducedo to Castro 24.9km “

Primitivo Days 3/4 – Salas to Tineo 19.1km , Tineo to Campiello 15.3km

I walked relatively short distances on days 3 and 4. The first two days had been quite strenuous and tiring in the heat and I wanted to have a couple of shorter days before the big walk of 31.5km through the mountains on day 5. This is a much harder walk than the Camino Frances with lots of ascents and descents but this is compensated by the fact the scenery is beautiful. There are also far fewer pilgrims compared with the Frances . I’d guess there are around 40 pilgrims walking per stage and they are predominately Spanish and French . I’ve met no British or Irish up to this point and there are just a handful of pilgrims who speak fluent English. Hardly any of the locals speak English other than a few words so it’s a source of regret that my Spanish language skills are still at the basic level.

Continue reading “Primitivo Days 3/4 – Salas to Tineo 19.1km , Tineo to Campiello 15.3km”